Top Afro House Artists of 2019
A genre we’ve championed and supported from the beginning, Afro House is one of our most popular and well-loved sections and still growing at a rapid pace. 2019 served us up some excellent music via pillars of the scene like Nulu, Rise, Union, MoBlack and Vega Records, many of these entering in our top 200 Afro tracks of the year and some making a serious dent in the overall 200 chart. Our top Afro Artist list this year features the artists behind these works, faces both familiar and new, as we run through the most important producers impacting the sound over the past 12 months. Artists like Louie Vega, Doug Gomez, Manoo, DJ Angelo and Pablo Fierro to name a few. Read on for the full lowdown of Afro House artists in 2019 according to us here at Traxsource.
20. Da Mike
Da Mike is an artist we’ve got our eyes (and ears on). He’s spent the summer playing alongside and learning from one of the genre’s champions - Black Coffee at his Hi Ibiza Residency, alongside dedicating serious time to production. He’s already caught the attention of some of the most forward-thinking labels treading the line between afro and electronica, Stereo MC’s Connected and Hyenah’s Berlin-based imprint Rise, which led to two prominent releases this year ‘Way Out’ (#81 Afro) and ‘The Thing’ via Connected Frontline (#30 Afro).
We’re pinning the South African duo Kususa as ones to watch for 2020. The guys have had an impressive release year, with great releases on Connected Frontline, Sudam Recordings and Jetblack Music and Aluku Records. Their release highlight for us this year, however, was their collaboration with Shimza ‘Kunye’ via Luciano’s famous Cadenza (nestling them in amongst prestigious labelmates, some of electronic music’s greats like David Squillace, Mayaan Nidam, Uner and Loco Dice). We know there’s more good stuff on the way from these two.
18. Mark Francis
Another year in the top 20 for Mark Francis. A local New Jersey hero, Mark Francis is best known for his residency for NYC’s inimitable club shelter. Heavily influenced by the likes of Tyrone Francis, Timmy Regisford, and Jihad Muhammad, Francis is known for bringing a soulful side to Afro House, garnering support on his work from the likes of DJ Spen and Reel Soul. He had a lot of success in the genre this year, with three tracks ending in the top 200 Afro chart for 2019: His remix of Juan Soul’s ‘Donkola’, ‘Nobody But You’, and his edit of Mr Eclectic’s ‘Mystic Chant’.
More new faces for the top Afro Artists of the year, TSOS. Launched in 2018, TSOS is the new moniker from The Scientists of Sound, who’ve been rocking their native Italy since 2012. 2019 saw them gain the respect of one of the scene’s household names - David Morales, who picked up their ‘Djembalia’ for his DIRIDIM imprint, a track that went on to finish in our top 200 of the year for the Afro genre. The duo then went on to catch the eye of fellow Italian producer Moon Rocket, who picked up their Klop release and, as you’ll no doubt remember, both the original and live mixes of the track stormed the charts, finally finishing #6 and #9 for Afro and #55 and #67 in the top 200 tracks on site across genres.
16. Enoo Napa
Enoo Napa has been on our radar for a while, earning himself the number one position in our Afro House Artists list a couple of years ago back in 2017. This summer he’s been cutting his teeth playing Black Coffee’s residency at Hiï Ibiza, alongside the likes of The Black Madonna, Eli & Fur, Mandar and Guy Gerber, alongside grafting away in the studio. Two of his remixes made a serious impact on the Afro charts this year, his mixes of ReQuest M’s ‘Isidwaba’ and Oscar P’s ‘Said I Know’, both tunes entering the top 200 overall for the genre. Further key releases like ‘E[ART]H’, ‘Egypt’ and ‘Elements’ further cemented his place in our minds for the end of year lists. Two late remixes in December, of DJ Merlon’s ‘Layla’ and Rocco Rodomaal’s ‘Working Hard’ look set to take to the charts for the beginning of 2020 as well.
15. Peppe Citarella
Italian DJ / producer Peppe Citarella has enjoyed a particularly successful 2019, both as an artist and via his Union Records. Support on his music regularly comes in from the likes of David Morales, David Penn, Terry Hunter, Simon Dunmore and Sandy Rivera and his work this year has been no exception. Big tracks this year from the Italian included his ‘World Latin Mix’ of Lokkhi Terra and Dele Sosimi’s ‘Cubafro’, ‘Mi Guitarra’ and his collaboration with Mijangos and Enrie Becquer ‘Bongo Bonga (afro mix)’ which was taking hold of dance floors from its release in July all the way through the summer months and eventually charted #12 in the Afro House genre. One of our favourite producers in the World Music spectrum, and one we expect to hear a lot more from over the coming months.
14. DJ Angelo
The Greek producer / DJ has had a breakthrough year, touring extensively and even playing alongside one of the scene’s pioneers, Black Coffee at his Hi Ibiza residency (and beyond), sharing the stage with heavyweights like Culoe De Song, &ME, Guy Gerber, Zepherin Saint, Damian Lazarus and of course Black Coffee himself. He’s also found the time to crack out some big tracks, collaborating with Da Mike on Hyenah’s Rise label for ‘Way Out’ (#81 Afro) alongside his solo work on Tribe and Nulu ‘Sira Kuruni’ (#43) and ‘Carnaval Dream’ (#41). DJ Angelo. He’s on fire at the moment, and definitely deserves a spot in the top 15.
13. Cee ElAssaad
Cee ElAssaad continues to make serious moves. This year’s standout releases all charted well in our Afro tracks of the year and included ‘Don’t Leave Me’ on Zepherin Saint’s Tribe Records (#51), his mix of Nawfel’s ‘Rero’ via Merecumbe Records (#64), his mix of Stones & Bones ‘Uthando’ also via Merecumbe Records and his mix of Gino Brown’s ‘Shay'iNumber’ via Afrocentric. Further releases this year hit King Street and Nite grooves and with a discography that’s showing he’s got the right music on all the right labels, it looks like the sky’s the limit for the Moroccan artist.
Bay Area DJ / producer Coflo jumps up impressively from #98 in last year’s list to #12 for 2019. The producer has had an extensive period of successful production and his remix credits now include the likes of Seven Davis Jr, Sunlight Square, Hallex M, Doug Gomez, Hanna Hais, and DJ Said, whilst his forward-thinking Catch the Ghost imprint continues to go from strength to strength, playing host to his own productions alongside those from friends like Jiwa, Big leaf and Evar After. Coflo finished off the year with 9 tracks in the Afro top 200, including ‘Stress Relief’, ‘Easy’, a remix of Evar After’s ‘Pocket’ (#69) and ‘Wind Cries’ (#59). Also the A&R / Label Manager for the popular Ocha Records, it’s clear that even bigger things are en route for the talented House head.
11. David Morales
A living legend and still one of the best-loved producers on the planet, Morales was still ticking all the boxes this year, even rebooting his Red Zone alias (the source of some of his finest drum-heavy workouts from the ‘90s). Morales brought in a total of 7 tracks to our top 200 Afro House tracks for 2019 including ‘Izizwe’, ‘Drumster’, his mixes of Sound’s Good Inc’s ’Masen’hamba’, DJ Gomi’s ‘Resilience’ and Massimo Lippolli’s ’Dougne Te Soye’, even doing the remix treatment for Josh Wink’s ‘Don’t Laugh’ under his Winx alias on Nervous (#19). But it was his red zone mix of ‘Escape’ that did it for us this year, finishing 13th most popular tune of the year for the genre. Another year of gold from a long-standing hero of the scene.
10. Da Capo
The self-taught South African producer dropped his debut album last year ‘Indigo Child’ and has been turning heads with a slew of releases and remixes on the likes of Gondwana, Hyenah’s Rise Music and Anane Vega’s Nulu. His track ‘Afrika’ also recently got the full remix treatment from the legendary Louie Vega after being picked up for his Vega Records. 3 of his remixes / originals made it into the end of year list for Afro and we’re looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next.
The New Jersey local has a long history of production that’s seen him rack up credentials via the likes of West End Records, Cameo Recordings, King Street Sounds and Offering Recordings. This year he powered on and produced some illustrious work in the Afro genre, making his stamp on 2019 with 7 tracks in the top 200 (not including his work in Soulful House as well). His remix work this year was really second to none, with Danny Krivit, Terry Hunter and Louie Vega all supporting his music. Our picks had to be his reworks of Bianca Gerald’s and DJ Spen’s ‘Let It All Go’ (via unquantize) and ‘Yo Barnum’ by Geoffrey C which finished #31 and #18 in the end of year list for the genre
A percussive house genius, it’s a debut entry into this chart for Mijangos this year. Heavily influenced by his latin roots, the producer has developed a unique and popular sound, being championed by the likes of Joey Negro, Mr V, Erick Morillo, Peppe Citarella and Julius Papp. He’s had a heavy production year, with 8 excellent tunes featuring highly in our end of year roundup and all featuring in the afro house top 200. A special nod to his ‘Suena El Sabor’ via Union Records that finished #12 in our Afro House tracks of the year and #17 in the overall best tracks of 2019. His latest offering on Union ‘Tumbaoo’ also looks set to kick things off well for him chart-wise in 2020 as well.
7. Louie Vega
An undisputed House music legend, an introduction for Louie Vega almost seems a little futile.. It’s another year in the Afro top 10 for the immensely talented MAW artist, and whilst not his most common production style (Soulful, Disco and House make up the majority of his output) the tracks he’s released in this genre over the course of the last 12 months have hurtled straight up to the top of the charts. Stand out favourites included his remix of AMFlow’s ‘Raw Uncut’ (via his own Vega Records), released at the end of last year that charted #4 in the genre end of year list and finished #47 in the overall tracks of the year and of course his remix of Josh Wink’s ‘Sixth Sense’ (via Wink’s Ovum) that dominated the charts and finished our #1 Afro track of the year, and #9 in our most popular tracks of the site overall. Another year of no-nonsense class from one of the best out there.
An artist at the top of his game, Manoo was our #1 Afro artist last year and returns once again to the list for 2019, thanks to stand out releases like ‘Kromosome X’ via Zepherin Saint’s Tribe Records, ‘Toro Yah’ via Anané Vega’s Nulu and his mix of Agoria’s ‘Remedy’ via Sapiens. His tour schedule kept up the pace, taking him to the likes of Suncebeat, The Key, Paris and London’s revered clubbing institution - fabric. Further releases and remixes this year found homes on King Street, Quantize and Papa Records and he reached a total of 7 productions in the top 200 for the genre this year. and we look forward to more of the same from the Frenchman next year we hope!
5. Pablo Fierro
An artist who’s no stranger to this list, having earned the #3 spot back in 2017, Pablo Fierro is always a contender for our attention at the end of the year. It’s been a relatively quiet year in the studio for Fierro compared to the others on this list, focusing on a quality over quantity ethos (one that he sticks to) as he also focussed heavily on touring, taking his low slung afro sounds to some of the world’s premier destinations including Bedouin’s party in Ibiza, The Key in Paris and Berlin’s Watergate. Tracks that caught our eye this year were his Innervisions release ‘Tel Aviv To Casablanca’ and his EP on Watergate with Hyenah ‘The Golden Cage of Yesterday’. However, probably his most important accolade of the year had to be his Barbatuques - Baianá (Pablo Fierro Edit) on MoBlack that took control of the charts for months, was a site #1 and widely regarded a track of the summer, upstreamed for a major label re-release via FFRR.
Always a popular feature on our site, and in these end of year lists. Atjazz’s forays into Deep, Soulful and Afro House have earned him an almost unrivalled reputation amongst Deep House fans and this year saw him perform well across all three genres. It was his Afro house output that really caught our attention though, with stand-out releases controlling the charts, and ultimately the final top 200. Our picks include ‘Ooto’ (#25) and ‘Everything’ (#11). His remix game this year was also on point, with his mixes of Dominique Fils-Aimé’s ‘Good Feeling’ and Sunlightsquare’s ‘Oyelo’ coming in at 23 and 10 in the chart respectively. A solid Traxsource favourite for many years, and he will remain for years to come.
Timmy Regisford has a long-standing history in the industry, first starting out in radio in the ‘80s before moving through to his A&R roles at Atlantic, MCA, Motown and Dreamworks. These decades of experience shine through in his production work and support flies in consistently, everyone from Louie Vega and Spen to Kevin Yost. Regisford wowed with two full albums this year, ‘Life Music’ with Toshi and ‘7PM (The LP)’ both via DJ Spen’s Soulful house imprint Quantize and ‘Fadjamou’ from 7PM charting in the most popular tracks of the year in Afro. His Quantize release ‘Falling In Love’ was one of the most popular tracks of the year, hitting the number one spot in our Afro House chart early in the year and ending the 15th most popular Afro House #1 on the site. His remix work this year also shone through, and his mix of Shota’s ‘Chant’ finished #57 in the top 200. Still a legend, and still at the top.
2. FNX OMAR
It’s been non-stop for FNX Omar, who comes in at #2 this year, up a place from 2018. The Moroccan has been on a massive remix streak, chalking up hits on Nervous, Foliage Records, MoBlack Records and United Music Records (amongst others) and he finished off the year with a huge 7 tracks making it into the top 200 Afro House list, reworks of CJ Jeff’s ‘Daylight’, Ralph Falcon’s ‘I Need Someone’, David Harness’s ‘The Deejay’s An Alien’, Mozaik’s ‘Idjewena’ and Jeangu Macrooy’s ‘Aisa’ whilst his remix of ‘Kuar’ by Emmanuel Jal (released at the end of last year) remained in our charts for months, finally finishing #8 in our best-selling tracks of the year for the genre.
1. Doug Gomez
This year’s #1 Afro House artist should come as no surprise to those following the genre on site. Doug Gomez’s productions and label output have filled the charts over the past 18 months, and he’s risen from the #2 spot to a well-deserved top spot for 2019. The Merecumbe Records boss has been honing his craft since 1987, perfecting his unique brand of Soulful Afro House, heavily influenced by latin and afro percussion and his Columbian heritage. The NYC producer has been steadily rising up this chart, from #9 in 2017 when his releases on some of the finest in the game: MoBlack, Cabana Recordings, Offering recordings, Sole Channel, United Music Records, Tambor Music, King Street Sounds, Plastik People and Global Diplomacy caught the full attention of every DJ digging for tunes in the Afro genre, through to his #1 spot now. This year we witnessed Gomez ramp up the pace, finally securing an insane 9 productions in the Afro top 200, plus 17 tracks in the same chart from his label Merecumbe Records. Tunes that caught our attention from the go, including ‘Ritmo Sagrado’ and his reworks of Ambrosia’s ‘Happy’ and George Lesley’s ‘I Smile’. It’s a much-deserved #1 spot for an artist at the top of his game.