Two decades before it became known as “Afrobeats”, women have been there, contributing to contemporary Nigerian music, its artistry and culture. 

Here are some interesting things you didn’t know about the most instrumental women to the development of Afrobeats as we know it today.

Weird MC

When Weird MC arrived on the scene, she came rocking a shaved head and oversized street urban wear. Her 1996 debut song, Allen Avenue, was released with a video, making her the first Nigerian artist to do so. She won the first-ever AMEN award for Best Hip-Hop Album (Simply Weird) in 1997 and was the first Afrobeats artist to make an animated music video (Ijoya, 2005). This woman is the coolest since cucumber.

City 105.1 FM

Sasha P

Sasha P is another Afrobeats woman who has accomplished many “firsts”. She was the first Nigerian woman to perform at the World Music Awards in 2008 and was awarded Best Female Artist at the Women in Entertainment Awards in the U.K. the next year. In 2010, Sasha P won the MTV Africa Music Award for Best Female Artist. We’re grateful she spent the money for her SAT forms on a studio session. Sacrifice like that is why she’s still recognised as the First Lady of Nigerian Hip-Hop.



The Ashanti singer might’ve gone viral after her Don’t Judge Me cover in 2013, but before that, there was her Irene & Jane era which came from her first music deal in 2011. Ghanaian artists who’ve won Best Female Vocal Performance at the Ghana Music Awards four times back-to-back can be counted on one palm. Efya has been there, done that.

Daily Post Nigeria


Did you know the female vocals on P-Square’s Do Me and Banky W’s Thief My Kele are Waje’s? Apart from being one of the strongest R&B vocalists in Nigeria, she runs a film and TV production company, Hermanes Media — producers of She Is (2019) — with fellow singer, Omawumi. Women making money together >>>>>


Goldie Harvey

Goldie was cool. So cool, only Lady Gaga could touch her when it came to style. The late singer lived her name, with golden hair and all-gold-everything accessories. 

Plus, it wasn’t popular when she came on the scene in 2009 with Yorùbá-infused pop music. Her unique style laid the template for the women after her.


Tiwa Savage

Way before Kele Kele Love, Tiwa Savage had a degree from Berklee College of Music, backed up famous OG singers like Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige and George Michael, and wrote for Babyface, Fantasia, and Monica. In 2018, Tiwa Savage became the first woman to win Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards. And don’t forget Tiwa Savage is the woman who performed at the coronation of King Charles III in May 2023. Her CV >>>>>

The Guardian Nigeria


She started off as a gospel singer. If you were there when Ara Ile (produced by Samklef) dropped, you know what I’m talking about. Her Restless EP was her final crossover to Afrobeats music in 20xx. Today, her catalogue is stacked with seven solid music projects. Simi is also a sound engineer with crisp music mastering and mixing skills. She engineered AG Baby’s first album, Gold.


As a budding recording artist, having money issues isn’t unfamiliar. Tems began producing her own songs when she couldn’t drop a bag for production, and her vision didn’t align with most producers. For the Broken Ears is proof of her production skills. She handled 90% of it. Tems is also the first woman to win Best International Act at the BET Awards (2022) and the Nigerian with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She’s HER, and she knows it. Can we really blame her for taking all the space and attention when she pulls up at functions?


Ayra Starr

Before Don Jazzy came across her music in 2020, Ayra Starr was a model signed to Quove Model Management. You should see her killing her role as video vixen in Eri Ife’s Dear Future Wife music video. Ayra’s story is proof that people don’t just appear on top, they’ve been grinding on the low.

These women aren’t just Afrobeat musicians; their uniqueness and self-application have contributed immensely to the movement.

To learn more cool things about what more Afrobeats women are up to, this Spotify website got you.


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