Afrobeats is making its mark on the world with Nigerian artists like WizKid – recipient of two BET Awards, Billboard Music Awards, and MTV Africa Music Awards – Ayo Jay, Davido, Mr. Eazi, and Tiwa Savage taking over the charts.
However, some say that Afrobeats – with an “s” – should not be confused with Afrobeat, which emerged from Nigerian icon Fela Kuti, who combined Ghanaian Highlife and Nigerian Juju music with jazz and funk rhythms.
Where Kuti’s Afrobeat was very political, today’s Afrobeats emerged from the United Kingdom’s party scene among children of Nigerian and Ghanaian immigrants – it’s to get people dancing!
And while Nigerian artists are most popular, Ghana wants its credit, too! Highlife music originates in Ghana and is “the seed out of which Afrobeats was created,” says Fuse ODG, the Ghanaian artist who is responsible for introducing Afrobeats abroad.
“Our talent is world class,” said Fuse ODG. “As someone who has traveled the world, I know and I applaud Ghana for having the impact that we’ve had. Ghana is powerful, we are a small country but have managed to influence the world.”
Afrobeats is here to stay and we need to know its origins, what’s going on with its influencers, and its major players – get to listening!