Singer Bruce Melodie Leads Rwandan Artists to Make History at Trace Awards

In the night of Saturday, October 21, 2023, in Kigali, a grand celebration took place, honoring artists from Africa and the African diaspora at the Trace Awards and Festival.

These prestigious awards, organized by Trace Group, renowned for its global music television channels, made their debut in Rwanda, featuring top artists from across the African continent and beyond.

Bruce Melodie was lauded as a top Rwandan artist and even bagged the “Best Artist of the Year” award, which was presented by Producer Element.

He extended his gratitude to his collaborators and his children, known as “Ibitangaza,” who performed alongside him.

His remarkable song “Fou de toi” also gained recognition.

Among the other notable Rwandan artists celebrated at the event were Ariel Wayz, Bwiza, Chriss Eazy, and Kenny Sol.

The Trace Awards recognized a total of 50 outstanding artists from Africa and the diaspora, including big names like Davido, Yemi Alade, Mr. Eazi, and Diamond Platnumz.

Notably, two categories, the Global African Artist Awards, were awarded to artists Rema for “Calm Down” and Nomcebo for “Jerusalema.”

Here are some of the categories and winners:

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)

“Sete” – K.O (South Africa)

“Cough” – Kizz Daniel (Nigeria)

“MORTEL 06” – Innoss’B (DRC)

Video of the year

“2 Sugar” – Wizkid (Nigeria) feat. Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

Winner “Baddie” – Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

“Kpaflotage” – Suspect 95 (Ivory Coast)

“Loaded” – Tiwa Savage(Nigeria) & Asake (Nigeria)

Ronda” – Blxckie (South Africa)

“Tombolo” – Kalash (Martinique)

Yatapita” – Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Best Male Artist:

Asake (Nigeria)

Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Winner: Davido (Nigeria)

Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Didi B (Ivory Coast)

K.O (South Africa)

Rema (Nigeria)

Best Female Artist:

Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

Josey (Ivory Coast)

Nadia Mukami (Kenya)

Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

Winner: Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

Best Collaboration:

“Many Ways” – BNXN (Nigeria) with Wizkid (Nigeria)

“Mine” – Show Dem Camp (Nigeria) with Oxlade (Nigeria)

“Peru” – Fireboy DML (Nigeria) with Ed Sheeran (UK)

“Second Sermon” – Black Sherif (Ghana) with Burna Boy (Nigeria)

“Sete” – K.O (South Africa) with Young Stunna (South Africa), Blxckie (South Africa)

“Stamina” – Tiwa Savage with Ayra Starr (Nigeria) & Young Jonn (Nigeria)

“Trumpet” – Olamide (Nigeria) with Ckay (Nigeria)

Winners: “Unavailable” – Davido (Nigeria) with Musa Keys (South Africa)

Best New Male Artist:

Azawi (Uganda)

Krys M (Cameroon)

Libianca (Cameroon)

Nissi (Nigeria)

Odumodublvck (Nigeria)

Pabi Cooper (South Africa)

Winner: Roseline Layo (Ivory Coast)

Best DJ:

Danni Gato (Cape Verde)

DJ BDK (Ivory Coast)

DJ Illans (France)

DJ Spinall (Nigeria)

Winner: Michael Brun (Haiti)

Uncle Waffles (Swaziland)

Best Producer:

DJ Maphorisa (South Africa)

Juls (Ghana)

Kabza de Small (South Africa)

Kel-P (Nigeria)

Winner:Tam Sir (Ivory Coast)

Best Gospel Artist:

Benjamin Dube (South Africa)

Janet Otieno (Kenya)

Winner: KS Bloom (Ivory Coast)

Levixone (Uganda)

Moses Bliss (Nigeria)

Best Live Act:

Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Winner: Fally Ipupa (DRC)

Musa Keys (South Africa)

The Compozers (Ghana)

Wizkid (Nigeria)

Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Best dancer

Winner: Robot Boii (South Africa)

Tayc (France)

Uganda Ghetto Kids (Uganda)

Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Zuchu (Tanzania)

Best Anglophone African Artist:

Winner: Asake (Nigeria)

Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

Black Sherif (Ghana)

Davido (Nigeria)

Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Fireboy DML (Nigeria)

Best Francophone African Artist:

Winner: Didi B (Ivory Coast)

Emma’a (Gabon)

Fally Ipupa (DRC)

KO-C (Cameroon)

Locko (Cameroon)

Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)

Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

Best Lusophone African Artist:

Gerilson Insrael (Angola)

Winner: Lisandro Cuxi (Cape Verde)

Perola (Angola)

Plutonio (Mozambique)

Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Best Rwandan Artist:

Ariel Wayz (Rwanda)

Winner Bruce Melodie (Rwanda)

Bwiza (Rwanda)

Chriss Eazy (Rwanda)

Kenny Sol (Rwanda)

Best East African Artist:

Bruce Melodie (Rwanda)

Winner: Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Zuchu (Tanzania)

Khaligraph (Kenya)

Nadia Mukani (Kenya)

Azawi (Uganda)

Best French & Belgian Artist:

Aya Nakamura (France)

Booba (France)

Nihno (France)

Ronisia (France)

Soolking (France)

Winner: Tayc (France)

Best UK Artist:

Winner: Central Cee (UK)

Headie One (UK)

Ms Banks (UK)

Raye (UK)

Stormzy (UK)

Best Caribbean Artist:

Admiral T (Guadeloupe)

Bamby (French Guiana)

Kalash (Martinique)

Maureen (Martinique)

Popcaan (Jamaica)

Princess Lover (Martinique)

Winner: Rutshelle Guillaume (Haiti)

Shenseea (Jamaica)

Best Indian Ocean Artist:

Donovan BTS (Mauritius)

GaEi (Madagascar)

Winner: Goulam (Comoros)

Mik’l (Reunion)

Sega el (Reunion)

Terrell Elymoor (Mayotte)

Best Brazilian Artist:

Djonga (Brazil)

Iza (Brazil)

Leo Santana (Brazil)

Winner: Ludmilla (Brazil)

Luedji Luna (Brazil)

Best North African Artist:

Amira Zouhair (Morocco)

Artmasta (Tunisia)

Winner: Dystinct (Morocco)

El Grande Toto (Morocco)

Kader Japonais (Algeria)

Raja Meziane (Algeria)

This award ceremony recognized artists from various regions and languages across Africa and the diaspora.