In a dazzling celebration of African and Afro-influenced music, the 2023 Trace Awards took centre stage in Kigali, Rwanda on Saturday, October 21. This event marked the inception of the Trace Awards, a new awards franchise created by Trace, the global TV and multimedia platform. The awards were designed to honour exceptional talent from Africa and across the African diasporas.
Two standout artistes of the night were Rema and Davido, who emerged as the top winners of the evening. Rema, known for his groundbreaking hit “Calm Down,” secured victory in two major categories. His chart-topping single “Calm Down” was crowned as the “Song of the Year,” while he shared the prestigious title of “Best Global African Artist” with the talented Nomcebo.
Davido, a giant in the African music scene, also left his mark on the Trace Awards. He clinched the titles of “Best Male Artist” and “Best Collaboration” for his outstanding work on the track “Unavailable,” a collaboration with Musa Keys that wowed audiences worldwide.
Another standout moment of the evening was Burna Boy’s victory, as he was awarded the coveted “Album of the Year” for his impressive creation, Love Damini.
The Trace Awards not only recognised the incredible talents but also offered a stage for captivating performances. The audience was treated to spectacular shows by approximately 50 African and Afro-inspired artists from around the globe, including memorable performances by Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, and Diamond Platnumz.
In addition to the competitive categories, the Trace Awards also presented three special awards that held great significance. The legendary 2Face received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in honour of his enduring contributions to the music industry. Mr Eazi, a changemaker in the Nigerian music scene, was bestowed with the “Changemaker Award.” Furthermore, the remarkable talents of Rema and Nomcebo were acknowledged once again as they shared the title of “Best Global African Artist.”
The 2023 Trace Awards left an indelible mark in the world of African and Afro-influenced music, celebrating both established artists and rising stars, all while highlighting the global impact of this vibrant genre. The event was a resounding success, uniting music enthusiasts and artists from diverse backgrounds in a night of pure musical magic.
See the full list of winners and nominees from the 2023 Trace Awards:
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)