South African based music cable station, Channel O and Forbes Africa recently presented the top 10 most bankable African artistes. According to Channel O, the top ten were determined by a number of factors such as endorsements, brand value, earnings, bookings, popularity, and social media presence. The list shows the African artistes making the most money in Africa. Below is the transcript of the presentation.
Number 10: BANKY W
At number 10 is Mr. Capable, Banky W, making his mark in the African music industry in a genre such as R & B that is not perhaps the most popular. Banky W is still one of the most popular and influential faces in African Music. Banky W is not only a published author, but is also an industrial engineer with a degree from Rensselaer Polytech Institute in New York proving that clever is the new gangster earlier this year, Banky was at Oxford University’s Pan African conference in London giving a talk on relevance of culture media entertainment and arts in the twenty first century. He is the co-owner of EME Records and has proved himself as an amazing talent incubator by directing the career of Wiz Kid artist foundation with his debut project Wiz Kid Superstar. Other EME artist includes Banky W himself, Niyola, Skales, Shady and DJ Exclusive. Banky also gives back to the community through his I Am Capable Foundation where he provides scholarship for deserving university students. He has one of the most talked about endorsement deals with Samsung and if you ever want to get people to listen on social media, Banky W can get your name trending in half a second.
Number 9: ICE PRINCE
Number 8: SARKODIE
You can’t mention Ghanaian music and not think of Sarkodie. He literally took the Ghana music industry from almost there, to everybody pay attention! With everyone from Tim Westwood to Ludacris giving him props. Sarkodie has managed to carve out a path for himself that no one can touch. Not only is he an incredible talent, he is also a presidential youth ambassador in Ghana. He’s established the Sarkodie Foundation to tackle the plight of the homeless and needy children in his country. Businesswise, he has his clothing label Sark clothing. Let’s just say while most people are getting their gear made in china, Sarkodie is getting his line made in Dubia. He is also a brand ambassador to electronics giant Samsung. He’s won over 14 awards and has a sweet deal with Ghanaian ice cream production company Fan Milk Ghana. With a solid 360 career, it’s safe to say Sarkodie is not a business man, he is a business, man!
Number 7: ASELMO RALPH
The Angolan music scene is probably one of the most profitable in Africa. So when you are at the top of that food chain, it’s no doubt that you are at the top of the African music game. At 32yrs old, Anselmo Ralph lands total music sales add up to around 800,000. He had around 250 performances last year and currently has endorsement deals with Samsung and Coca-Cola. We would tell you the value but the figures are too high to mention. With a crazy touring schedule internationally, his label recently bought a tour bus from the States that is better than most people’s homes. This Sony artist’s YouTube views easily clock a million without any promo from his side, but word of mouth from his fans. It’s no wonder he can barely walk down the streets of Angola without his fans fainting. With that much power, you better believe his own perfume line is making bank and once his clothing label drops, he is going to shut it down. You may not understand Portuguese, but numbers everyone can understand. The sexy Anselmo Ralph is our number 7.
Number 6: 2FACE IDIBIA
The term living legend is loosely used these days, but 2face Idibia is definitely that. No one can deny that his song African Queen was not only his breakthrough song but it was also the door opener for the new wave of African urban music as we know it today. As a singer, songwriter and producer, 2face’s cross or first???? Solo albums have sold more than ten million copies with digital sales estimated to be in the region of about six million units. As a highly sought after brand ambassador, 2face has been associated with Guinness extra smooth , Airtel, Haven homes??? and YSG hubs. He is Oxfam ambassador and One campaign for the last 3yrs. 2face is a heavy weight in the game. Even still he has a heart of gold and has supported the little big ????? in its bid to provide care for pre-term babies and support for their parents across Africa. He alongside General Gowon worked as celebrity ambassadors for the guinea worm eradication project and as NAFDAC’s sole ambassador. He’s contributed towards the fight against the manufacture and sale of fake drugs and substandard edible products. His 2face Idibia Reach Out Foundation has actively supported many causes for years. 2face is at number 6.
Number 5: WIZ KID
Dubbed the Justin Bieber of African music, Wizkid rise to fame is the epitome of African dream. From recording his first song at the age of 11, now a few years later Wizkid has achieved what people much older than him only dream of. Wizkid has his own label, star boy entertainment and is affiliated with Tinie Tempah’s label Disturbing London. When it comes to collaborations and performances, he’s one of the most sought after artists in Africa. If he isn’t a surprise guest at Chris Brown’s concert in Ghana, or sharing a stage with Kendrick Lamar, he’s in studio with Young Jeezy, the Game, Wale, just to mention a few. When Wizzy drops his song, the whole continent listens. As the highest paid Pepsi brand ambassador in Africa, he also has a lucrative deal with MTN. He’s one of the most followed artists in Africa on social media. Whichever way you look at it, Wizkid is Africa’s superstar and just in case you thought he was all hype, his new Porsche should settle the score. It’s no wonder he’s sitting pretty at number 5.
Number 4: D’BANJ
Number 3: P SQUARE
Number 2: DON JAZZY
Typically producers aren’t the headline in Africa but Don Jazzy has definitely changed this game. Don Jazzy has an influence in Nigeria second to none; when he tweets, things happen. As a recording artist label executive and producer, he is the CEO of Mavin Records home to D Prince and Tiwa Savage. He’s been behind some of the most of the iconic songs in African music history; Oliver Twist perhaps being the biggest to date. Don Jazzy has managed to cinch lucrative deals with MTN and Samsung to mention a few. With a chilled out vibe often known for just moving about in his P.J pants. Don Jazzy is so talented he has producing credits on Kanye West, Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s song ‘Lift Up’. He also produced ‘Mr. Endowed’ by D’Banj featuring Snoop Dogg. There’s nothing much to say about Don Jazzy because unlike everyone else, his success and achievements do all the talking. If you are wondering why he’s so high up on list, let’s just say that the people behind the music make a lot more than what you know.
Number 1: AKON