Music is a profound experience that transcends language barriers and cultural differences. It has the power to evoke emotions and connect us to our innermost emotions. This playlist of African songs is intended to do just that.
We have compiled a list of 100 relaxing African songs, sampling from the entire continent; Cairo to Cape Town, Cape Verde to Mauritius. These songs are a puddle in the sea of Africa’s diverse musical styles and cultures.
From North Africa, listeners can enjoy the soothing sounds of the oud, a stringed instrument that dates back to ancient times, in songs like “Imarhan” by the music band of the same name from Algeria. Moving to the west, the smooth rhythms of Afro-Cuban jazz can be heard in “Sodade” by Cape Verde native Cesária Evora. In Nigeria, the legendary Fela Kuti’s “Lady” combines jazz, funk, and West African rhythms to create a unique sound that is both energetic and mellow.
Traveling further south, we feature Black Coffee and Msaki’s “Wish You Were Here”, while “Todii” by Zimbabwe’s Oliver Mtukudzi introduces you to the mbira, a traditional instrument played throughout Southern Africa.
East Africa is represented by several groups and artists. We feature Sauti Sol’s “Insecure,” Nameless’ “Sinzia”, and several other Kenyan songs. The sultry Juliana Kanyomozi represents Uganda with “Twalina Omukwano” along with Jose Chameleone’s “Valu Valu”. Among the Tanzanian artists on this list is Hussein Machozi, who pays a heartfelt tribute to his lover in “Kwa Ajili Yako”.
Because the list is long, we have split it into 5 parts, each containing 20 of the 100 songs mentioned in this list. For easy access, we will link to all parts.
These songs, and many more, are just a glimpse into the diverse and vibrant musical landscape of Africa. Listen to the full playlist on Spotify or on YouTube. Click on any song to skip to that section.
100 Relaxing African Songs
- Cesária Evora – Sodade
- Black Coffee – Wish You Were Here (Featuring Msaki)
- Tshala Muana – Man wenu
- Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens – Kazet
- Mory Kanté – Yeke Yeke
- Oliver Mtukudzi – Ndakuvara
- Miriam Makeba – Soweto Blues
- Saida Karoli – Maria Salome
- Jose Chameleone – Basima Ogenze
- Them Mushrooms – Jambo Bwana
- Yvonne Chaka Chaka – Im In Love With A DJ
- Lucky Dube – Kiss No Frog
- Mbilia Bel – Eswi yo wapi
- Hussein Machozi – Kwa Ajili Yako
- Feli Nandi – Ndoona Iwe
- Brenda Fassie – Wedding Day
- Khadja Nin – Sambolera Mayi Son
- Franco – Sadou
- Fela Kuti – Lady
- Nina Ogot – Dala
1. Cesária Evora – Sodade
2. Black Coffee – Wish You Were Here (Featuring Msaki)
3. Tshala Muana – Man wenu
4. Mahlathini & The Mahotella Queens – Kazet
5. Mory Kanté – Yeke Yeke
6. Oliver Mtukudzi – Ndakuvara
7. Miriam Makeba – Soweto Blues
8. Saida Karoli – Maria Salome
9. Jose Chameleone – Basima Ogenze
10. Them Mushrooms – Jambo Bwana
11. Yvonne Chaka Chaka – I’m In Love With A DJ
12. Lucky Dube – Kiss No Frog
13. Mbilia Bel – Eswi yo wapi
14. Hussein Machozi – Kwa Ajili Yako
15. Feli Nandi – Ndoona Iwe
16. Brenda Fassie – Wedding Day
17. Khadja Nin – Sambolera Mayi Son
18. Franco – Sadou
19. Fela Kuti – Lady
20. Nina Ogot – Dala
Catch up with the entire series of 100 African songs here: