While many international artists have shown their potential for mass appeal, it seems our radios will only stretch to accept a select few. Names like M.I.A and K’naan have become more familiar in mainstream music circles but stations are still reluctant to spin music with a global pulse on their playlists. Here is our take on five international artists we’d love to see get some stateside shine.


This Rwandan born singer may be dedicated to her smart lyrics, but don’t think she isn’t giving hooks too. Iyadede has reeled us in with her mix of calm thoughtful interludes and high-energy tracks. In her words: “The perfect pitch when you are a multicultural inter continental animal like myself is a schizophrenic exercise.”

Check out Iyadede’s website here and check out her music yourself.


This trio is neither dancehall nor reggae, but their not hip-hop or electronic either. Instead, they are all of the above. Acmatic calls Jamaica home but is steadily gaining a fan base all over the world. Listening to their lyrics it’s not hard to understand why. While they have parts of the bravado we’ve seen before, they expose an insecurity view male acts are often willing to.

Check out their album ‘Sundial’ here.


The young Ghanian rapper has been called one of Africa’s best MC’s and its not just his swag that helps prove his case. The artist opened up for Rick Ross when the “BMF” rapper took his show to Accra. But while Mr. BMF was the top billing, it was Sway that stayed on many bloggers minds as name for US hip-hop fans to watch.

Download a free copy of Sway’s latest mixtape “Bring Me To Africa” here.

Buraka Som Sistema

This group of MCs and DJs hail from Portugal but are viewed by many as the kids who defined electronic dancehall esque pop. The group has collaborated with several acts including Timbaland and M.I.A. Buraka Som calls their style “tropical bass,” but whatever you call it this group will have you feeling like you’re in for a long Algarve night out.

Check out some of their latest ‘Dazed Digital’ mix here.


Hip-hop with an Indian flare? Yes indeed. The genre’s global reach has no bounds as evidence by The1Shanti, a Brooklyn born Desi-rapper who has performed with mainstream rappers such as Lil’ Flip and Young Joc. A favorite of Dougie Fresh, the rapper has been ordained by many old school heads “India Bambaataa.” Which is an honor, we think…

Check out his mixtape “Two Ears and A Heart” here.

Know any international artists we should keep on our radar? Give us your favorites and top picks- share your thoughts Clutchettes!

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  • a daughter of yemonya

    THANK YOU 4 revealing these wonderful artist!!! WE jam to a few of them but I know I will jam to Iyadede!!! Keep ’em coming!!! Peace!!!

  • a daughter of yemonya

    “artists” sorry

  • Rayna

    Stromae is pretty big too.

  • Leonie UK

    Sway is actually British born, his parents hail from Ghana. Sway also won a few awards from the Source magazine and BET over the past 2-3yrs, maybe someone needs to do better research on African Hiphop artists not European ones.

  • I love Nigerian artist Asa. check her out!