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Trace Awards and Festival to unveil new Experience to East Africa


By Andrew I. Kazibwe
With arrangements nearing conclusion, East Africa is to host the Trace Awards and Festival’s first edition slated for October 20 to 21, in Kigali, Rwanda.

The event hoped to attract over Seven thousand music fans is enabled due to the undisclosed partnership worth millions of Rwandan Francs between Global Music Powerhouse, Afro-music tastemaker Trace, QA Venue Solutions Rwanda, and Visit Rwanda is to ignite a global entertainment spotlight onto Rwanda as it hosts Africa’s finest music performers, entrepreneurs, and creatives from all walks of life for this festival.

With so far nominations and voting to have been closed on October 9th, the festival is to be broadcasted live on October 21st on Trace TV channels, radio, and digital channels, and on global streaming platforms, national terrestrial TV and satellite channels recently confirmed artists Davido, Kizz Daniel and Asake from Nigeria, Bamby, Blxckie and Benjamin Dube (South Africa), Black Sherif (Ghana), Bruce Melodie and Bwiza (Rwanda), Didi B (Ivory Coast),
Dystinct (Morocco), Janet Otieno (Kenya), Josey (Ivory Coast), Kalash (Martinique), Lisandro Cuxi and Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde), Locko (Cameroon), Mikl (Reunion), Perola (Angola), Plutonio (Mozambique), Princess Lover (Martinique), Rutshelle
Guillaume (Haïti), Terell Elymoor (Mayotte), Viviane Chidid (Senegal), Tayc and Ronisia (France) lined up for performances. Also to grace the stage will be The Compozers, an Influential UK-based Afrobeat band, who are also “Best Live” nominees.

African and African diaspora artists are extraordinarily creative and dynamic. They represent a massive cultural force and deserve more global recognition and celebration. The Trace Awards salute achievement and excellence from more than 150 performers, producers, DJs, writers, composers, directors, established artists and rising stars, and their management and labels

Olivier Laouchez, Chairman and co-founder, of Trace.

Bringing on excellence and diversity of Afro-centric music in genres such as Afrobeat, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Zouk, Afro-pop, Mbalax, Amapiano, Kizomba, Genge, Coupé Décalé, Bongo Flava, Soukous, Gospel, Rap, Rai, Kompa, Afro R&B, and Rumba through artists’ performances, the 2023 Trace Awards event introduce 22 award categories which unveil platinum-selling artists from more than thirty countries in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Europe including Algeria, Angola, Cape Verde, Martinique, Brazil, Mauritius, Cameroon, Comoros, DRC, France, French Guiana, Gabon, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia, the UK, Uganda, Ghana, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mayotte, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Reunion, Rwanda, and Senegal. 

Leading the nominations are West African artists, particularly Nigerian artists, who today have earned global popularity for their carfted Nigerian Afrobeat with over 40 nominations in total, Including; Burna Boy, Davido, Ayra Starr, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, Fireboy DML, Yemi Alade, and Rema.

The Best Female Artist category includes Cape Verde’s Soraia Ramos, Josey(Ivory Coast), Viviane Chidid(Senegal), Nadia Mukami(Kenya) and
Tiwa Savage and Arya Starr from Nigeria.

South African Hip Hop artist K.O emerges with three nominations including Best Male, Song of the Year, and Best Collaboration.  Also is Musa Keys who is nominated under (Best Live, Best Collaboration), and Blxckie (Best Music Video), while Pabi Cooper appeared in the Best Newcomer award category. 

From Swaziland, Uncle Waffles is nominated in the Best DJ category.
Francophone music and artists also have appeared under 10 nominations including two for Didi B (Ivory Coast) as Best Male and Best Artist, while Libianca(Cameroon) earned two nominations, for Best Newcomer and Song of the Year, respectively. 
DRC’s Fally Ipupa has also earned two nominations: under Best Live (Global) and Best Artist Africa -Francophone categories.

Up-and-coming artists categories include the Best Newcomer Award and have seen popular Cameroonian artists Libianca and Krys M facing against Cote d’Ivoire’s Roselyne Layo, Azawi from Uganda, Pabi Cooper from South Africa, and Nigeria’s Nissi and Odumodublvck.

We have already had a discussion with Rwanda, and more countries like DRC, Kenya, Cape Verde and other African countries which are showing interest so far. Through this platform, we can distribute your song to over 12 music platforms worldwide in less than 12 hours.


While overall winners will walk away with one or more Trace Awards Trophies, these are unique pieces, crafted of art designed by Dora Prevost, an acclaimed Congolese sculptor and designer. Alongside the Awarding ceremony, stage performances and exhibitions, and workshops, the festival will also incorporate workshops geared towards training aspiring African creatives towards professionalism.

A solution to African Music Royalties
It was also learned that through this event, BETTER, a platform that seeks to provide traceability, Collection, and payment of music loyalties will be unveiled. This innovation, which is geared towards the realization of how Royalties can be collected to enable music creatives to earn from their works is seen as a milestone for the African music industry.

With it holding over 60 radio Channels, and 29 Television Channels, with a reach of 350 million fans in 180 countries since its launch in 2003, Trace works under the GLOCO (Global-Local) company model strategy, in the belief that there is a presence of unique diversity among African creatives.

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