Rema and Davido Dominate 2023 Trace Awards in Kigali: Celebrating African Musical Excellence

Kigali hosts the spectacular event recognizing outstanding talents in African and Afro-influenced music

In a dazzling celebration of African and Afro-influenced musical talent, Rema and Davido emerged as the top winners at the 2023 Trace Awards, a groundbreaking awards franchise created by Trace, a global TV and multimedia platform. The event, held in Kigali, Nigeria, on Saturday (Oct. 21), showcased the vibrancy and diversity of the music originating from Africa and the African diasporas.

Rema’s Double Triumph: Rema clinched two prestigious awards, securing the title of Song of the Year for his global hit “Calm Down” and sharing the honor for Best Global African Artist with Nomcebo. The remix of “Calm Down” featuring Selena Gomez reached an impressive No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Rema bags the “song of the year” award at the Trace Awards 2023

Davido’s Double Victory: Davido, another heavyweight in the African music scene, secured two awards for Best Male and Best Collaboration. His collaboration with Musa Keys on “Unavailable” earned him the latter award.

Davido performs ‘Unavailable’ at the 2023 Trace Awards in Kigali Rwanda

Burna Boy’s Album of the Year: Burna Boy, recognized as one of Africa’s musical powerhouses, clinched the Album of the Year award for “Love Damini.”

The Trace Awards featured performances by approximately 50 Africa and Afro-inspired artists from around the world, including Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, and Diamond Platnumz.

In addition to the competitive categories, the event honored contributors in three special categories. The legendary 2Face received a Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr Eazi from Nigeria was presented with the Change Maker Award, and Rema and Nomcebo jointly received the Best Global African Artist award.

Full List of Winners and Nominees:

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Album of the Year:

  • DNK – Aya Nakamura (France)
  • WINNER: 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)
  • WINNER: “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 (DRC)

Best Music Video:

  • “2 Sugar” – Wizkid (Nigeria) feat. Ayra Starr (Nigeria)
  • WINNER: “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 Male:

  • Asake (Nigeria)
  • Burna Boy (Nigeria)
  • WINNER: 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)
  • WINNER: Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

Best Collaboration:

  • “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)
  • WINNER: “Unavailable” – Davido (Nigeria) with Musa Keys (South Africa)
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Best Newcomer:

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

Best DJ:

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

Best Producer:

  • DJ Maphorisa (South Africa)
  • Juls (Ghana)
  • Kabza de Small (South Africa)
  • Kel-P (Nigeria)
  • WINNER: Tam Sir (Ivory Coast)

Best Gospel Artist:

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

Best Live:

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

Best Dancer:

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

Best Artist Africa – Anglophone:

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

Best Artist Africa – Francophone:

  • WINNER: 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)
  • WINNER: Lisandro Cuxi (Cape Verde)
  • Perola (Angola)
  • Plutonio (Mozambique)
  • Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Best Artist – Rwanda:

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

Best Artist – East Africa:

  • Bruce Melodie (Rwanda)
  • WINNER: Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
  • Zuchu (Tanzania)
  • Khaligraph (Kenya)
  • Nadia Mukani (Kenya)
  • Azawi (Uganda)

Best Artist – France & Belgium:

  • Aya Nakamura (France)
  • Booba (France)
  • Nihno (France)
  • Ronisia (France)
  • Soolking (France)
  • WINNER: Tayc (France)
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Best Artist – UK:

  • WINNER: 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)
  • WINNER: Rutshelle Guillaume (Haiti)
  • Shenseea (Jamaica)

Best Artist – Indian Ocean:

  • Donovan BTS (Mauritius)
  • GaEi (Madagascar)
  • WINNER: Goulam (Comoros)
  • Mik’l (Reunion)
  • Sega el (Reunion)
  • Terrell Elymoor (Mayotte)

Best Artist – Brazil:

  • Djonga (Brazil)
  • Iza (Brazil)
  • Leo Santana (Brazil)
  • WINNER: Ludmilla (Brazil)
  • Luedji Luna (Brazil)

Best Artist – North Africa:

  • Amira Zouhair (Morocco)
  • Artmasta (Tunisia)
  • WINNER: Dystinct (Morocco)
  • El Grande Toto (Morocco)
  • Kader Japonais (Algeria)
  • Raja Meziane (Algeria)

The 2023 Trace Awards proved to be a remarkable evening, celebrating the immense talent and diversity within the African and Afro-influenced music landscape. With winners spanning various regions and genres, the event underscored the global impact of African music and the richness of its cultural influences.

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