5 Female African artists you didn’t know were music producers

<div>5 Female African artists you didn’t know were music producers</div>
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The African music industry is fueled by the energy of its female artists.

Their captivating voices have stood strong as support for moving the industry forward. But what if we told you some of Africa’s leading ladies are not just belting out hits, and are also the masterminds behind their amazing hits?

This article focuses on amazing women who are not only making great music as artists but are also producers behind the scenes. These women are breaking the gender stereotypes in the music production industry. Be that as it may, these women are making a big impact and adding their unique touch to the music scene in Africa.

Here are five African Female artists that you didn’t know were music producers;

Bloody Civilian

Bloody Civilian
Bloody Civilian

Emoseh Khamofu, known professionally as Bloody Civilian, is not a typical musician. She is a singer, songwriter, and record producer who’s making waves in the Afrobeat scene. Bloody Civilian is using her name to reclaim lost ground. Formerly, it was a term used to demean civilians by the military and now she’s turning it into a symbol of empowerment.

The artist started crafting beats at the age of 12 and wrote her first song on a piece of tissue paper. This dedication to her craft has paid off in a big way. Bloody Civilian’s music is known for its raw honesty, tackling personal struggles and social issues alongside infectious melodies. She’s also a skilled producer, shaping the soundscapes that define her music. This allows her complete creative control, ensuring every note and beat perfectly complements her message.

Bloody Civilian’s Production Highlights

  1. Anger Management (EP): This debut EP showcased Bloody Civilian’s production prowess, blending raw vulnerability with infectious Afrobeats rhythms. Tracks like How To Kill A Man became a fan favourite, establishing her bold and uncompromising sound.
  2. Wake Up featuring  Rema (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Soundtrack): This global hit, co-produced by Bloody Civilian, resonated with audiences worldwide. Her production adds depth and power to Rema‘s vocals, making Wake Up a standout on the acclaimed soundtrack. 

Markedly, Bloody Civilian was the first Nigerian female producer to be nominated at the Grammy’s. Significantly, it was for the production of the track Wake Up, featured in the Black Panther 2 Soundtrack with Rema.

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Amaarae

Amaarae
Amaarae

Amaarae is a singer, songwriter, and producer who defies categorization. She has a very unique voice that sets her apart from the crowd and although she is mainly an alternative artist, her voice helps her to create a sound that’s entirely her own.

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Born Denise Dua in Accra, Ghana, her musical journey began with writing poetry and eventually, she transitioned into song making.  Much to the unknown of others, She is equally skilled in music production. This allows her to design and execute every element of her music to make sure every note and beat complements her unique voice.

Her music is a blend of genres.  Afrobeat is the foundation, but she infuses bits of R&B, hip-hop, and even jazz into her music. 

Amaarae’s Production Highlights

While her mesmerizing vocals are undeniable, this female artist’s production skills are quite formidable. She is said to take complete creative control of her song making process.  Here are some highlights of her production work:

  1. The Angel You Don’t Know (EP): This Extended play released in 2020 showcased Amaarae’s production talents. Tracks like Jumpin’ Ship and Leave Me Alone showed her ability to blend genres seamlessly. The success of the EP is a testament to the reception of music enthusiasts to her sound
  1. SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY” featuring Moliy: This track was a well-thought-out collaboration with Amaarae and fellow Ghanaian artist Moliy and was co-produced by Amaarae. It had such a sultry and smooth base, laced with subtle techno influences.

Amaarae’s unique sound and music production has garnered international attention. She has done collaborations with artists like Dr. Dre and music collaborations with brands like H&M and Mugler.

Tems

Tems Music
Tems

Temilade Openiyi, is a captivating vocalist, a skilled songwriter, and a star in the world of music production. Born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria, Tems’ musical journey began early. She immersed herself in music, honing her vocal talents and developing a passion for songwriting. This dedication paid off.  Tracks like Mr Rebel, which she produced herself in 2018, showcased her raw talent and genre-bending potential.

Tems’ Production Highlights

Tems is a talented producer who takes creative control of her music. She has mentioned multiple times that she creates music for herself with the help of a small number of other creative influences so it feels like it’s her art. Some highlights of Tems’ production work include:

  1. For Broken Ears (EP): Her acclaimed debut EP, released in 2020, was a testament to Tems’ well-rounded musical knowledge. She produced a majority of the tracks on the extended play. She was able to blend elements of R&B, Afrobeats, and alternative music to create escapes that were both personal and universally relatable. This EP remains one of the major propellers of her global music career.
  2. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever – Soundtrack: Tems’ global reach extends to Hollywood. She co-produced the powerful track Move for the Black Panther sequel.
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Tems’ talent for collaboration has been instrumental in her rise to fame.  Her features on Wizkid’s global hit Essence (which she co-produced) and Drake’s Fountains brought her music to a whole new audience.  

Beyond music, Tems uses her platform to advocate for social change.  Her music often tackles themes of self-discovery, female empowerment, and social justice, giving a voice to a generation yearning for a better world.

Simi

Simisola Ogunleye, better known by her stage name Simi, is a captivating singer with a soulful voice, a skilled songwriter with a knack for storytelling, and a talented producer who isn’t afraid to experiment with sound.

Her musical journey began in the church choir, where she honed her powerful vocals. The gospel influence continues to shape her sound, adding a layer of soulful depth to her contemporary Afrobeats productions.  

Simi’s Production Hits

While her captivating voice is what draws fans in, Simi’s production skills add another dimension to her artistry. She isn’t afraid to take creative control, crafting sounds that perfectly complement her vocals and lyrical themes. Here are some highlights of Simi’s production work:

  1. Simisola (Album): This album was released in 2017 and marked a turning point in Simi’s career. She co-produced a majority of the tracks on the award-winning album.
  2. Duduke (Single): This massive Afrobeats hit, released in 2020, was co-produced by Simi. The song’s infectious melody and empowering message about motherhood resonated with audiences worldwide. And it was due to the impeccable production skills of Simi and her team.

Simi is an advocate for female empowerment, both within the music industry and beyond.  She uses her platform to champion other female artists and inspire young women to pursue their dreams. She recently collaborated with Yoruba rapper, CandyBleaks in a recent single.

Lady Donli

Donli Osayemi, is an alternative artist and a member of the Lagos Panic. She is well known for her hit single Cash. Surprisingly, her journey to music wasn’t a conventional one.  With a degree in Law, she seemed destined for a different path. But her passion for music burned bright, leading her to trade in textbooks for microphones and drum machines. This rebellious spirit is evident in her music, which often challenges societal norms and celebrates individuality.

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Lady Donli’s sound is a refreshing blend of genres.  Her soulful vocals are reminiscent of classic R&B, while her lyrics incorporate elements of hip-hop and storytelling much like Asa.  But the true magic lies in her ability to seamlessly weave alternative influences into the mix, creating a style that’s entirely her own.

Lady Donli’s Production Prowess

Lady Donli’s production skills are the secret weapon behind her music.  Here are some highlights of Lady Donli’s production work:

  1. Enjoy Your Life (EP): This critically acclaimed EP, was released in 2021. She produced the entire project and owns it. As an indie artist in Nigeria, her ability to get heard is refreshing for her listeners

Lady Donli’s music is more than just catchy tunes.  Her lyrics tackle themes of self-discovery, mental health, and navigating the complexities of young adulthood. Certainly, this relatable approach resonates with listeners who find solace and inspiration in her message.

So there you have it, 5 amazing female producers we bet you didn’t know were masterminds behind their songs. Not only are these women role models but also they are inspiring a new generation of female artists to take charge of their creative destiny. By showcasing their prowess, they’re shattering the stereotype that music production is a male-dominated field.

So, the next time you hear a catchy Afrobeats tune or a soulful R&B melody coming out of Africa, take a moment to appreciate the artist behind it. There’s a good chance it might be a multi-talented woman who not only sings the song but also crafts the masterpiece.

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