Trace Unveils Nominees for Inaugural Trace Awards


Music enthusiasts worldwide are in for a treat as Trace, the renowned music media company, announces the nominees for the highly anticipated inaugural Trace Awards. Scheduled to take place at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda, on October 21, 2023, the Trace Awards promise to be a spectacular celebration of African and Afro-inspired music and culture.

A Global Showcase of Talent: Live Broadcast to 500 Million Viewers

The Trace Awards will be a live event with a global reach. Boasting an impressive viewership of approximately 500 million people across 190 countries, the awards will captivate audiences around the world. As it unfolds at the BK Arena, attendees and viewers alike will witness the beauty of African and Afro-inspired music and its far-reaching impact.

Honoring a Diverse Musical Landscape

The Trace Awards aim to honor a wide spectrum of musical genres, reflecting the rich diversity of African and Afro-inspired music. From the infectious rhythms of Afrobeats to the dancehall beats, hip-hop grooves, and the unique sounds of mbalax, amapiano, zouk, kizomba, genge, coupé décalé, bongo flava, soukous, gospel, rap, rai, kompa, R&B, and rumba—these awards celebrate it all.

Olivier Laouchez, Chairman and Co-founder of Trace, expressed his enthusiasm for the upcoming awards ceremony. He emphasized that the Trace Awards recognize and applaud outstanding achievements across the music industry. The nominations encompass more than 150 performers, producers, DJs, writers, composers, directors, established artists, and rising stars, as well as their management and labels.

Global Representations: Musicians from the African Diaspora

Beyond the African continent, the Trace Awards also acknowledge the diverse music of the African diasporas. Acclaimed nominees from France, Brazil, the UK, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean are part of the celebration. Notable names include Stormzy (UK), Aya Nakamura (France), Leo Santana (Brazil), and Shenseea (Jamaica), among others.

See the nominees and categories below

Album of the Year

  • DNK – Aya Nakamura (France)
  • Love Damini – Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Maverick – Kizz Daniel (Nigeria)
  • More Love, Less Ego – Wizkid (Nigeria)
  • Timeless – Davido (Nigeria)
  • Work of Art – Asake (Nigeria) 

Song of the Year

  • BKBN – Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)
  • People – Libianca (Cameroon)
  • Suavemente – Soolking (France)
  • Encre – Emma’a (Gabon)
  • Sugarcane – Camidoh (Ghana)
  • Last Last – Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Rush – Ayra Starr (Nigeria)
  • Calm Down – Rema (Nigeria)
  • Peru – Fireboy DML (Nigeria) with Ed Sheeran (UK)
  • Sete – K.O (South Africa)
  • Cough – Kizz Daniel (Nigeria)
  • MORTEL 06 – Innoss’B (Ivory Coast)

Best Male

  • Asake (Nigeria) 
  • Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Davido (Nigeria)
  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
  • Didi B (Ivory Coast)
  • K.O (South Africa)
  • Rema (Nigeria)

Best Female

  • Ayra Starr (Nigeria)
  • Josey (Ivory Coast)
  • Nadia Mukami (Kenya)
  • Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)
  • Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)
  • Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

Best Music Video

  • 2 Sugar – Wizkid (Nigeria) ft. Ayra Starr (Nigeria)
  • Baddie – Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
  • Kpaflotage – Suspect 95 (Ivory Coast)
  • Loaded – Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) & Asake (Nigeria)
  • Ronda – Blxckie (South Africa)
  • Tombolo – Kalash (Martinique) 
  • Yatapita – Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Best Newcomer (Sponsored by Maison Martell)

  • Azawi (Uganda)
  • Krys M (Cameroon)
  • Libianca (Cameroon)
  • Nissi (Nigeria)
  • Odumodublvck (Nigeria)
  • Pabi Cooper (South Africa)
  • Roselyne Layo (Ivory Coast)

Best Collaboration (Sponsored by Maison Martell)

  • Many Ways – BNXN (Nigeria) with Wizkid (Nigeria)
  • Mine – Show Dem Camp (Nigeria) with Oxlade (Nigeria)
  • Peru – Fireboy DML (Nigeria) with Ed Sheeran (UK)
  • Second Sermon – Black Sherif (Ghana) with Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Sete – K.O (South Africa) with Young Stunna (South Africa), Blxckie (South Africa)
  • Stamina – Tiwa Savage with Ayra Starr (Nigeria) & Young Jonn (Nigeria)
  • Trumpet – Olamide (Nigeria) with Ckay (Nigeria)
  • Unavailable – Davido (Nigeria) with Musa Keys (South Africa)

Best DJ

  • Danni Gato (Cape Verde)
  • DJ BDK (Ivory Coast)
  • DJ Illans (France)
  • DJ Spinall (Nigeria)
  • Michael Brun (Haiti)
  • Uncle Waffles (Swaziland)

Best Producer

  • DJ Maphorisa (South Africa)
  • Juls (Ghana)
  • Kabza de Small (South Africa)
  • Kel-P (Nigeria)
  • Tamsir (Ivory Coast)

Best Gospel Artist

  • Benjamin Dube (South Africa)
  • Janet Otieno (Kenya) 
  • KS Bloom (Ivory Coast)
  • Levixone (Uganda)
  • Moses Bliss (Nigeria)

Best Live

  • Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • Fally Ipupa (DRC)
  • Musa Keys (South Africa)
  • The Compozers (Nigeria)
  • Wizkid (Nigeria)
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Best Dancer

  • Robot Boii (South Africa)
  • Tayc (France)
  • Uganda Ghetto Kids (Uganda)
  • Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
  • Zuchu (Tanzania)

Best Artist Africa  Anglophone

  • Asake (Nigeria)
  • Ayra Starr (Nigeria)
  • Black Sherif (Ghana)
  • Davido (Nigeria)
  • Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
  • Fireboy DML (Nigeria)

Best Artist Africa  Francophone

  • Didi B (Ivory Coast)
  • Emma’a (Gabon)
  • Fally Ipupa (DRC)
  • KO-C (Cameroon)
  • Locko (Cameroon)
  • Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)
  • Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

Best Artist Africa  Lusophone

  • Gerilson Insrael (Angola)
  • Lisandro Cuxi (Cape Verde)
  • Perola (Angola)
  • Plutonio (Mozambique)
  • Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Best Artist  Rwanda

  • Ariel Wayz (Rwanda)
  • Bruce Melodie (Rwanda)
  • Bwiza (Rwanda)
  • Chriss Eazy (Rwanda) 
  • Kenny Sol (Rwanda)

Best Artist  France & Belgium

  • Aya Nakamura (France)
  • Booba (France)
  • Nihno (France)
  • Ronisia (France)
  • Soolking (France)
  • Tayc (France)

Best Artist  UK

  • Central Cee (UK)
  • Headie One (UK)
  • Ms Banks (UK)
  • Raye (UK)
  • Stormzy (UK)

Best Artist – The Caribbean

  • Admiral T (Guadeloupe) 
  • Bamby (French Guiana)
  • Kalash (Martinique) 
  • Maureen (Martinique)
  • Popcaan (Jamaica)
  • Princess Lover (Martinique)
  • Rutshelle Guillaume (Haiti)
  • Shenseea (Jamaica)

Best Artist – Indian Ocean

  • Donovan BTS (Mauritius) 
  • GaEi (Madagascar)
  • Goulam (Comoros)
  • Mikl (Reunion)
  • Sega el (Reunion)
  • Terell Elymoor (Mayotte)

Best Artist – North Africa

  • Amira Zouhair (Morocco)
  • Artmasta (Tunisia
  • Dystinct (Morocco
  • ElGrandeToto (Morocco)
  • Kader Japonais (Algeria)
  • Raja Meziane (Algeria)

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