In under a year, Nigeria’s Joeboy has gone from an unknown college student posting covers on Instagram to one of his country’s biggest new artists, topping charts across Africa with the melodious smash hits, "Baby" and "Beginning". The first recipient of Afropop star Mr Eazi’s emPawa Africa program, which provides funding and mentorship to emerging African artists, Joeboy was born Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus in Lagos, Nigeria. While studying human resources at the University of Lagos in 2017, a friend sent Joeboy’s cover of Ed Sheeran’s "Shape of You" to Mr Eazi, piquing the singer’s interest and beginning a conversation that would lead to the creation of emPawa Africa one year later. With University graduation impending and unsure of his next steps, Joeboy threw himself into music, connecting with producer E Kelly to record his debut single, "Fààji." feat. Mr Eazi. The infectious, celebratory afrobeats track put him on Nigeria’s busy musical map after appearing on Ghanaian producer GuiltyBeatz’s track "Fire" alongside King Promise. On March 1st, 2019 he released "Baby", an earworm of a track produced by Dëra. A mainstay on radio across sub-Saharan Africa since its release, "Baby" topped Apple Music’s streaming charts in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, and hitting the Top 10 in Ghana and Zimbabwe. A lighthearted "visualizer" video featuring Joeboy dancing his way through various situations with his love interest has racked up over 11 million plays on YouTube, while the song’s official video spent a couple of weeks atop MTV Base’s Naija Top 10. Joeboy’s latest single "Beginning," produced by Killertunes, has continued his magical run, reaching No. 1 on Apple Music in Nigeria, and charting within the Top 10 in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe. Meanwhile, Joeboy’s improbably swift rise has landed him coverage in Rolling Stone, Billboard and CNN. On November 8, Joeboy will release Love & Light, his debut EP, with production from Dëra, Killertunes and BeatsByKO.
J.Derobie (Derick Obuobie Jnr) is a young and passionate Dancehall & an AfroBeat artist from Accra, Ghana. This talented budding star has a bright future ahead of him which is notable from his track "Poverty" (released January 11th) - a self-written, reflective record which resonates with a lot of people. The track began making "waves" after his Instagram submission for emPawa100; an incubator programme devised by Mr Eazi. It was his incredible amusical abilities that catapulted Derobie to the forefront of the programme and he was then chosen to be one of the successful 100, which enabled "Poverty" to be brought to life. The inspiration for the song came from J.Derobie sitting on a beach with contemplating thoughts of why he continues to create music when he merely can’t afford it. In that same exact moment, he realises he needs to fight poverty to improve his life & live it in the way he wants to. The video captures J.Derobie in his element within his hometown, showing where he comes from & the support from his community. J.Derobie started as a dancer and later developed the talent of singing at the age of 13. Being influenced by the likes of Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Mr Eazi, Stonebwoy, Chronixx, Popcaan, Alkaline, Vybz Kartel, Mavado, Masicka, and R2bees. J.Derobie released his first official song titled VIM, which happened to be dancehall with an afro rhythmic sound. J.Derobie was then featured on a song by General Myke titled "Odo Yewu", produced by KeezyOnTheBeat, which received a lot of positive responses from a wide range of listeners. He released his second single, titled "Awurade", a very catchy and danceable tune also making waves as well.
Karun is a Kenyan alternative R&B singer. Her influences range from Frank Ocean, Erykah Badu and James Blake. She is a gifted artist who is quickly making her unique creative mark in Kenya and the world. Cutting her teeth as the first lady of one of Nairobi’s most prolific bands Camp Mulla, she has since leapt out on her own to create and grow into her true form. Karun came back in 2018 with a bang, releasing Her melodic and soulful experimental R&B records like ‘Roses’, a feature with Ukweli and ‘Make Believe’ featuring the much sought after Blinky Bill.