Global music powerhouse and Afro-music tastemaker Trace has announced the nominees for its inaugural TRACE Awards in Africa slated for October 21. The nominees include top Rwandan musicians Bruce Melodie, Bwiza, Ariel Ways, Kenny Sol and Chriss Eazy, all of whom have been selected to represent Rwanda at the inaugural Trace Awards in Africa to be held in Kigali, Rwanda at the BK Arena. Also read: Trace Awards & Festival to debut in Rwanda The Rwandan music stars were chosen as a tribute to Rwanda for hosting the first kind of this event sponsored by Visit Rwanda and Martell. Also representing East Africa are Tanzania's Diamond Platnumz with several nominations including Best Male and Best Music Video, while Azawi, Lexivone and the Uganda Ghetto Kids carry the torch for Uganda. According to Olivier Laouchez, chairman and co-founder of Trace, artistes from Africa and the African diaspora are extraordinarily creative and dynamic, representing a massive cultural force, which is why they deserve more global recognition and celebration. The Trace Awards nominations celebrate the achievements and excellence of more than 150 performers, producers, DJs, writers, composers, directors, established artists and rising stars, as well as their management and labels. We congratulate all the nominees, most of whom will be attending and performing in Kigali on 21 October. It will be an unmissable experience for lovers of African and Afro-inspired music, Laouchez said in a statement released by Trace on Monday, August 21. Also read: How will Rwanda benefit from hosting Trace Awards and Festival? Artists, organisers share their views Leading the nominations are West African artistes, particularly Nigerian artistes, who underscore the global popularity of Nigerian Afrobeat with over 40 nominations in total, including multiple nominations for Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Davido, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Fireboy DML and Rema. The contribution of female artists is recognised in multiple categories including Best Female Artist, where Cape Verde’s Soraia Ramos is competing against Josey from the Ivory Coast, Senegal’s Viviane Chidid, Kenya’s Nadia Mukami and the double threat of Tiwa Savage and Arya Starr from Nigeria. South African artistes make their mark in the nominations as well, with Hip Hop artist K.O scoring an impressive three nominations including Best Male, Song of the Year and Best Collaboration. Also honoured are Musa Keys (Best Live, Best Collaboration), and Blxckie (Best Music Video), while Pabi Cooper squares up against a strong field in the Best Newcomer award category. The entire African continent will be represented by its best artistes at the TRACE Awards, showcasing the excellence and diversity of Afrocentric music in genres such Afrobeat, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Afro-pop, Mbalax, Amapiano, Zouk, Kizomba, Genge, Coupé Décalé, Bongo Flava and rap among many other genres. Competing in 22 award categories are platinum-selling artists from more than thirty countries in Africa, South America, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean and Europe including Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Comoros, DRC, France, French Guiana, Gabon, Ghana and many other countries. The winners will take home one or more Trace Awards Trophies - unique pieces of art designed by acclaimed Congolese sculptor and designer, Dora Prevost. Launched in 2003, Trace is the first multimedia and digital platform in the world solely devoted to Afro-Urban music and cultures, as well as to the success of young people and artists. Trace reaches more than 350 million fans in 180 countries.