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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal State Chico chapter.

Afrobeats are beginning to take the world by storm. With a blend of West African rhythms mixed with contemporary pop and hip-hop influences, these songs are more than just tunes, but a vibrant movement. This big change is being led by some incredibly talented women who have the perfect blend of vocals and beats that make you want to move to the dancefloor. Here are some of the women of the genre who you need to add to your playlist.

1.) Tems

Tems is a rising star from Nigeria, whose music is a blend of R&B/Soul with Afrobeats. She is co-signed with artists Drake and Beyoncé. Tems is a singer, songwriter, and record producer, having her breakout moment when she was featured on WizKid’s hit song, “Essence,” which reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She has collaborated with both Drake and Future and has recently won a Grammy for the song, “Wait For U.” Tems cites Frank Ocean, Amy Winehouse, and Lauryn Hill as some of her biggest influences. With over 14 million monthly listeners, Tems is continuing to rise and make a difference for the Afrobeat genre. Some of my personal favorite songs by Tems include; “The Key,” “Free Mind,” and “Higher,” all from her EP, “For Broken Ears.”

2.) Ayra Starr

Ayra Starr is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who rose to fame at only 19 years old. Before beginning her music career, she was a model at the age of 16. Her music style is a blend of Afrobeats, R&B, and Afro-pop. She began rising to fame when her album, “19 and Dangerous,” and its single, “Commas,” gained popularity. Growing up in a musically inclined family, she considers her mother, who is also a former singer, and her brother, a guitarist and songwriter, as her earliest musical inspirations. Her discography is one I would recommend for a day on the beach or simply wanting to have a ‘feel good’ day. My personal favorite songs from Ayra Starr include; “Rush,” “Commas,” and “Fashion Killer.”

3.) Tyla

When you think of Afrobeats, and the rise in popularity that it has had, Tyla is most likely one of the first artists that comes to mind. Tyla is a South African singer and songwriter, who had a breakout career at only 22 years old. In 2023, her breakout single, “Water,” was released and became a global sensation. The song reached the top 10 charts in multiple countries and became a trend on TikTok. “Water” made history as the first song by a South African artist to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in over a century. Tyla’s self-titled debut album was released in 2024, after her Grammy win for “Best African Music Performance.” Songs I would recommend from her discography include; “Safer,” “No. 1,” and “Breathe Me.”

4.) Gyakie

Gyakie, also known as “Song Bird,” is a Ghanaian artist who is known for her blend of Afrobeats and R&B. Her lyrics are the kind that would resonate with younger audiences, and is the daughter of musician Nana Achaempong. Her early success began with her single, “Love is Pretty,” that released in 2019, gaining her recognition. Her biggest breakout single was “Forever,” from her 2020 EP “Seed,” which became a major hit that topped charts in Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. My personal favorite songs by Gyakie include, “Rent Free” and “Something,” which you can listen to here.

Joerly Johnson

Cal State Chico '26

Joerly Johnson is a sophomore at Chico State, majoring in Journalism and Public Relations. She is passionate about storytelling and using her skills to make a difference in the world. She is also an active member of Sigma Kappa, where she is Vice President of Academic Excellence. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. Being surrounded by the city's energy and creativity, fueled her passion for writing and storytelling! In her free time she loves to run, read, and paint! She hopes to continue her passion for writing and communicating in the sports marketing field, and is excited to see where she goes!