The music and fashion industries have always been two peas in a pod since their very inception. Artistes have expressed themselves through their music but have taken a liking to express themselves through what they wear too.
From Onyeka Onwenu’s low cuts and African prints to high head ties worn frequently by Miriam Makeba, Fela’s signature style of African print trousers and going mostly topless or in a silk shirt to Lucky Dube’s natural dreadlocks, you think of an artiste and their style follows too.
On stage where they need to be free to perform, in music videos that convey a particular story tied to their song, at an interview where they tell us more, musicians have carved their brands around their music and wardrobes.
And it’s no different now, in this post we’ll be looking at how 4 iconic young female artistes in Africa are expressing themselves through fashion.
See behind the scenes of your favorite looks.
Hailing from Nigeria, the new queen of pop, Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe professionally known as Ayra Starr is a 20-year-old singer that has carved an unmissable brand for herself through fashion.
She started off her career modeling at age 16 so we can safely say fashion has always been her thing and it’s apparent now.
Ayra is known for wearing crop tops or bralettes, cut-out outfits, low-rise jeans and skirts, knee-high boots, frequent changes of hairstyles, and graphic eyeliners.
It’s a perfect representation of having a playful yet powerful sense of style.
The South African artiste, Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif, popularly known as Sho Madjozi, knows her way with music spotting a BET award in 2019 and knows her way around her clothes.
Her colorful persona takes center stage in her style and her wardrobe embraces African culture, reinventing traditional styles in a modern way.
In 2021, as a mini heritage project, she launched a children’s traditional clothing range inspired by the Tshivenda, Xitsonga, and Sepedi cultures of her country.
Sho is known for experimenting with the hair colors of her braids, using colorful hair beads, her pom pom earrings, maximalism, layering, and a good mix of traditional and modern styles.
Sha Sha, Charmaine Shamiso Mapimbiro is a Zimbabwean singer with a good reputation for her amapiano sounds and a Viewers Choice Best New International Act at the 2020 BET awards under her belt.
Her music is enjoyed by many worldwide and beloved by South Africans. Same thing for her style.
A peek at Sha Sha’s wardrobe and you’d find classy elements like blazers, two-piece sets, brown and black tones with a pop of color every now and then, neat locs, and bare makeup.
Amaarae’s style is just as versatile and unique as her music is.
The Ghanaian singer, Ama Serwah Genfi, is known for breaking genre boundaries as well as gender or race boundaries and now, fashion rules.
In an interview with Vogue, Amaarae tells of how unique people surrounded her as she grew up and how she soaked all of that in to create her own unique sound and style.
The 28-year-old singer can go from multicolored dyed low-cut to long braids, baggy jeans and t-shirts to mini dresses and long nails, whatever makes her feel cool and comfortable.
She also plays with the idea of masculine and feminine styles, switching or mixing whenever she feels like it.
A look into Amaarae’s wardrobe and you’d see bold prints, striking colors, blacks, boots, chunky jewelry, comfortable tees, baggy jeans, truck hats, and big sunglasses.
Which of these artistes has influenced your style?