TNG Special: Why the world cannot resist Nigeria’s Afrobeats
No doubts, Afrobeats a fusion of Afropop and other Nigerian music genres, has gained wide acceptance in the international community in recent years.
Afrobeats, as contemporary African music is classified in foreign spaces, is gaining more recognition as an influential genre, as homegrown stars like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage begin to experience commercial success on the global stage.
In 2018 ‘Ma Lo’ singer, Tiwa Savage headlined her first concert at the Indigo O2 in London, UK.It was a soaring success. When asked about the acceptance of Afrobeats on the global stage, Savage said:” I think for now Europe is much more ready for Afrobeat(s). We’re kind of focusing our energy on the UK and Europe..We’re still doing stuff in the US but it just seems like Europe is so ready.”
Femi Kuti in an interview with Hip TV said the Afrobeats genre has grown bigger since the passing of his father.The oldest singing Kuti affirmed that Afrobeats has been “taken to the next level” through his albums.
” I think what I have done with the Afrobeats is that I have expanded it; it was through my Afrobeats that several remixes came to being, especially the album Shoki shoki”, he said.
Kuti further said his music served as an eye opener for DJs around the world who through his remixes, discovered that technology could be used to enhance Afrobeats.
Davido was shocked in 2018 when over 10,000 people reportedly turned out for his concert
held in Suriname, a tiny country in the northeastern pocket of South America .International artistes are jostling to eat the pie of Nigerian Afrobeats. Days back, a video surfaced online where American producer, Timbaland could be seen creating his own remix to Niniola’s ‘Boda Sodiq’. The video garnered a lot of views on social media.
Dionne Searcey of The Newyork Times in his article Nigeria’s Afrobeats Music Scene Is Booming, but Profits Go to Pirates, wrote: “Afrobeats in particular — is having a moment. It blares in hotel lobbies, airport lounges, nightclubs and the dozens of bedroom recording studios where young men and women dream of stardom in this clogged, overheated city. The appetite for Nigerian music is clear. International labels such as Sony Music Entertainment are setting up shop in Lagos. Musicians like Seyi Shay, who spent much of her childhood in Britain with her Nigerian parents, are being lured back”.
Wizkid’s One Dance’ with Drake continues to be the peak of our move towards global domination. With billions of streams and Billboard chart success, that song not only gave Nigerians a foretaste of what could be. The song crashed the ceiling for what tangible achievement really is.
Asides from the success of his ‘African Giant’ album and his Grammy nomination, Burna Boy alongside Rema featured on Barack Obama’s favorite music of 2019.
Lanre Typical, a Nigerian show promoter stated that Afrobeat has taken over all clubs in Dubai
According to him: “As we all know, Afrobeats is one of the biggest genres in the world right now. It’s loved by all and now widely accepted. All clubs rock to it here in Dubai. Every club has or wants an Afrobeat night which they were not proud of a few years back, Afrobeats has taken over all clubs in Dubai. I can remember a few years back, Nigerian music was accepted by selected few, but today it has been accepted by everyone. I feel if there is the consistency it will remain in the mainstream for a long time to come,” he stated emphatically”.
Popular talent manager and music executive Theophy Esuike stipulated that the emergence of the internet and different social media platforms should be applauded for making the Afrobeat music genre go viral till it became more prominent in the international scene. The Theory-X Entertainment boss added that Nigerian artistes doing Afrobeat and other styles of music like Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Seyi Shay, Mr. Eazi and more, have been able to register their names globally through the aid of social media, which has bridged the gap between Africa and western world.
In 2020, more Nigerian artistes will break into the international market with their different flavours of Afrobeats. Beyonce’s collaboration with Nigerian artistes like Tiwa Savage, Wizkid, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy, Tekno is an indication of how Afrobeats will further dominate the world music scene.
With dedication and foresight, we will definitely get there.