Zambian Music Is Redefining The Sound of African Music


Over the past decades we have seen and witnessed new music in Zambia and genres arise and new Zambian musicians been born while others left the industry like PJ , Lily T and many more.

Again in those same recent times in Zambian music came what is now hugely popular among Zambia’s youth today. The introduction of a genre, with a sound unique sound to Zambia, which is known as Zed Hip-Hop born from Zed Beats (‘Zed’ being the colloquial term for Zambia).

Zed Hip-Hop

Has always been and considered as the amidst of the global rise of hip-hop in Zambian music as we now see it today, Zed Hip-Hop is now a uniquely widely spread Zambian form of the genre.

Popularly now known as Zed Hip-hop. This genre has actually brought with it not just the best sound but the evolution of what was actually known as Zed Beats back in the days.

Zed Hip-Hip is not just a sound but an entire subculture of new Zambian music, as seen in its fashion or lifestyle, closely related to the western hip-hop.

Zed Hip-Hop Founders

Made popular by the two most respected Hip Hop artists in the Zambian industry, Macky 2 and Slap Dee Aka King Dizo . From Macky 2 and Slap Dee, came Chef 187 on the music scene and then Muzo to add another unique style to Zed Hip-Hop.

All all the stages Zambian Zed Hip-Hop keeps growing and exploding to the max. The sound of Zambian music bumping in the cars is what you get in big cities like Lusaka and the Copper belt province and not forgetting shops and the streets.

While you’re in long traffic queues, you can’t help but notice the big billboards with local Zambian artists on them all over the city more especially in Lusaka. There’s energy like no other within this buzzing Country and its Cities. Zambia with the population of approximately 14.5 million people that not only churns out the music but attracts aspiring musicians from all over Zambia.

In the past few years, the young sound Zambian music has now actually managed to go beyond Africa and beyond boundaries: not just entertaining listeners, but creating a sense of pride about the continent.


First there was music from the Congo, with rhumba spearheading the music scene in Zambia, then came makossa from Cameroon, kwaito from South Africa, highlife from Ghana – and now, Afrobeats (also known as Naija beats) from Nigeria Africa’s leading country with most musicians on the international market today where Zambia has actually now adapted the beats and singing style.

Transformation Stage

Afrobeats was a term originally coined in the UK, its name been the true Afro-inspiration – or origin of the music and beat – is simply high energy and rhythmic drum patterns that makes you move and shake.

Now today this is One of the most popular in most genre from Africa in used in the past by artist’s like 2Face Idibia from Nigeria has gone on and reached a level to be used in movies – with its reggae feel and sweet melody, it’s become an African number one anthem.

Many Zambian musicians are not letting this golden chance pass them by. We have seen many like Roberto, Cleo Ice queen and Zone Fam actually managing to put Zambia on the African map for music by using Afrobeats combine with Zed Beats and Zed Hip-Hop.

During all this period of time when urban African music started getting recognition from BBC Radio 1Xtra, the Mobos and MTV Awards as well as numerous African award ceremonies, notably the Kora Awards.

Cleo Ice queen also Ascended on the female throne after making her special appearance at BigBrother Africa. and now the ascending of Cleo Ice-Queen came with the new talent on the seen like Kaladosha’s, Mic Burner and willz (Mr Nyopole), these are the brightest stars emerging from  Zambia’s afrobeat scene, known locally as Zed beats.

From Zone Fam “Contolola” Soon after came Roberto with a hit single debut , “ Amarula“. Before you knew it, there was jK featuring the Mama Africa Yemi Alade from Nigeria with another hit, “ Paduze“, which was produced by Kekero , an instrumental figure in the rise of Zambian Zed beats and Afrobeats.

Zambian Music Today 

Today check into the hotel and turn on your TV in Zambia, and you’ll find more local artist videos on heavy rotation than ever before.

This wasn’t the case a few years ago, but the quality of videos and the music has improved thanks to better production techniques we are now having in Zambia.

While the CD sales and copyright laws are not as well monitored in Zambian music industry, music sales via mobile phones is the ‘in’ thing. Zambian Fans are now buying music via mobile phones from websites.

Also Read : Top 10 Zambian Music Blogs (2017) Start Selling Zambian Music

Tracks are bought from via Airtel and Zamtel networks and the artists and telecom companies can make money off this as a joint venture.

Looking back a few years ago, Zed Beats was actually the only genre of music choice in Zambia, but the current crop of new artists have become superstars in their own right.

Now, if an artist puts out a new tune and people like it, it will be played all over the Zambian radio and gets featured on many TV channels like Q TV, ZNBC, MUVI and Prime Television Zambia once you Shoot a high quality video to get more rotation.

Audiences comes to live shows up and down the country, like the R&G|Oktoberfest bringing the opportunity to make money for many local artists and the Kwacha Music Awards, Mosi Awards and the Born n Bred Awards providing higher visibility leads to endorsements.

Mega money also comes from other African countries and Zambian companies that are willing to pay huge amounts to book their favorite artists.

This is one move that has made many Musicians in Zambia to be rich they view it as a good investment, because the biggest artists with the likes of Macky 2 or Slap Dee, actually representing Zambia at Coke Studio 2017 fill stadiums everywhere they go.

The continent is a billion strong with Zambian music on the table, Zambia’s Afropop, AfroBeats and Zed Hip-Hop is not just for entertaining listeners, but creating a sense of pride about the African continent.

The new genres of music from Zambia shine a positive light on the beloved African continent which is represented by a younger, digitally-connected generation that knows no boundaries.

Zambia’s Afropop, Zed music is at the top of Zambian playlist and Zed Hip-Hop is always on top 10 and is here to stay: it originates from the heart of the challenges that face the country and the continent.

This genre is about uniting Africa like never before in the history. So who are some of the main players in the mix of Zambian music actually doing big thins right now?

Also Read : Top 10 Zambian Songs 2017

Cleo Ice Queen


One of the artists flying the flag for the Zambian ladies, with some people even saying she’s Zambia’s answer to been the queen of Zed music. When not playing music, she hosts a TV show.

OC Oscilliation


Surely the most interesting character in the Zambian scene, standing out from all the other pretenders thanks to his swag, energy, performance and effortless command of the stage. He’s also the first Zambian artist to make into the UK top music list and in the united states.

Mic Burner


He is to Africa and Zambia is to the western world. Young and very like able. The “thought of you” hit maker with an enormous fan base, he’s now one of the most notable and sought after stars from Zambia.

Urban Hype


FJ, AJ and BadMan Shapi make up the group, have to be one of the highest grossing artists based on the country, thanks to their catchy music which is catchy and their incredibly well choreographed music videos.



Roberto is proof that the younger generation are a key part of Zambia’s genre’s progression, with not only a track record of huge hits but also his very own viral music style and beats.

Slap Dee


Slap dee “Mwila Musonda”  holder of more than 8 Zambian Music Awards and the only Zambian hip-hop artiste who actually managed to win the coveted Ngoma Award in Zambia.

Also Read :  Music In Zambia Unveiled

Source : Echo Music Blog

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