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YouTube celebrates rise of Afrobeats, spotlight on Burna Boy

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YouTube on Tuesday launched its spotlight story documentary on Nigerian Afro-fusion singer and songwriter, Damini Ogulu, known professionally as Burna Boy.

Addy Awofisayo, YouTube Content Partnerships Manager, Sub- Saharan Africa, said that Burna Boy had become one of the leading musical voices on the African continent and an international YouTube sensation.

According to her, Burna Boy catapulted to fame with the 2012 release of his single “Like to Party’’.

“The 18-minute documentary, which can be viewed, tells the story of the rise of Afrobeats and the role YouTube has played, through Burna Boy’s eyes.

“In addition, the video sees Burna Boy and his Manager, Bose Ogulu (his mum), sharing some of his coming-of-age stories.

“This is not the first time YouTube has built a story around Burna Boy. In October 2018, he got an ‘Artist on the Rise’ feature on the YouTube for Artists’ web page.

“Video streaming service has played a major role in supporting African musicians and artistes in sharing their voice, art and culture with the world,’’ Awofisayo said in statement.

Awofisayo said that “not only does YouTube’s global reach helps break artistes, and brings African music to the world, its audience makes fan content that help amplify the reach of African voices.’’

She said that YouTube’s technology allowed music producers to be inspired and to collaborate more.

“Cultural movements grow and build on YouTube. African music is the most recent example.

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“For years now, YouTube has played an essential role in the discovery and development of African sound.

“It has helped in exporting African music to listeners worldwide, enabling collaborations within the global and regional music industry and accelerating the transition to digital for fans on the continent,’’ Awofisayo said.

She said that a large share of YouTube views for top African artistes came from outside the continent with international artistes such as Kanye West, Beyonce and Childish Gambino integrating African elements into their music, choreography, and visual style.

According to her, 10 years ago, African producers and artistes had no easy way to hear, be inspired by and influence sounds and artistry from around the world.

“”YouTube technology changed all that. It will continue to do so too.

“With the launch of products such as YouTube Go in 2018, more African artistes will be able to share their work with an increasingly large audience, fully cementing their place on the global map,’’ Awofisayo said.

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