4. Kondi Band, 'Salone'
One of 2017's most charming debuts was this collaboration between Sorie Kondi, a blind street musician from Sierra Leone's capital city Freetown, and Milwaukee-raised producer Chief Boima, the son of Sierra Leonean immigrants. Kondi sings in Krio (Sierra Leone's lingua franca) and plays lilting melodies on his namesake instrument, the kondi – a thumb piano that bounces and percolates with an irrepressible energy. Boima adds subtle beats, loops and synths (or occasionally horns, on "Geibai Gpanga Ne Gna") to craft distinctive Afro-house tracks. Mesmerizing and irresistibly funky, Salone is a compelling addition to the global dance floor: Freetown and your ass will follow. M.R.