Afrobeats has come to stay and day by day, it’s conquering the world of music.
The biggest names in Afrobeats are selling out arenas, taking home Grammys, and collaborating with artists from all around the world.
Names like Tems, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Davido, and other African stars stay winning with their Afrobeats songs.
The biggest Afrobeats stars have recently entered the mainstream, selling out arenas and taking over radio waves in the US and Europe. Its global appeal has been distinguished by Grammy victories, viral dance videos and sold-out arena tours.
The release of “Oliver Twist” by D’Banj in 2012, the first Afrobeats artist to hit the Official Singles Chart UK Top 10 after signing to Kanye West’s GOOD Music label, marked a significant turning point for the genre. The accompanying video, which featured cameo appearances by West, Pusha T, and Congolese-British comedian Eddie Kadi, enhanced D’Banj’s catchy song and creative hook and reflected the scene’s expanding cross-border appeal.
Since then, Afrobeats has been embraced by some of the world’s biggest pop stars. Beyoncé leaned on many of the scene’s leading protagonists for her Grammy-nominated soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift and there have been hit remix collaborations between Justin Bieber and Wizkid (on singalong anthem “Essence”) and Selena Gomez and Benin City boy Rema on “Calm Down”.
Most recently, at February’s NBA All-Star Game in Utah, newly crowned Grammy winner Tems, Rema and the more established Burna Boy performed a medley of their hits. A fresh generation of fans with similar heritages to these stars sang along in English and Pidgin English.
How Afrobeats has continued to become a global appeal
Festivals, both in Africa and elsewhere, are an important place to start. For the first time, internet fan networks came together in person on a significant scale for the 2019 Portugal debut of Afro Nation. Dubbed as the world’s greatest Afrobeats festival, it has since spawned editions in Ghana, Puerto Rico and a forthcoming premiere edition in Miami. These cultural exhibitions also serve a networking purpose by luring members of the music business who can aid in advancing the culture.
African stars are now more likely to be found by international audiences because to technology and streaming services. Boomplay Music has grown to be Africa’s largest music streaming and download service since its 2015 start in Nigeria, with 75 million monthly active users and an outstanding repertoire.
Recent elections offered a chance for reform, but Nigeria’s aging and autocratic administration has been sluggish to embrace this developing young industry. Young voters from metropolitan regions turned out in big numbers to vote for Peter Obi, the Labour party candidate.
More than half of Nigeria’s 220 million people, Africa’s largest population, are under the age of 19, and 70% are under the age of 30. Despite losing to Bola Tinubu, the new president of Nigeria, Afrobeats played a role in the campaign by addressing social issues. One illustration is the song “Electricity” by Pheelz and Davido, which discusses how many Nigerians lack access to dependable power and appeals to the political class to address the issue.