Afrobeats Revolution – The Rise of Music of African Origin!

Afrobeats continues to take the music world by storm. Africa’s music industry was reported to be worth $4 Billion and predicted before the end of 2019 it will rise to $8 Billion. In 2016, the collaboration between Canadian Artiste Drake and Nigerian Artiste Wizkid, was reported by Spotify to have been the most-streamed song of the year.

Nigerian Afrobeats Artiste Wizkid on the set of one of his old music videos.
The industry’s vibrant and global presence can also be credited to African Artiste ability to blend with other music genres which grabbed the interest of African diaspora millennials like myself. We supported the growth by promoting and attending our favourite Artiste international live events in London, Manchester, Leicester, and much more. As a result of this, Africans, and non-Africans British Millennials are praised as the main drivers of Afrobeats going global.

Lets also not forget the controversy around the name Afrobeats (with an “s”) in comparison to the original Afrobeat – a music genre that was coined and birthed by Nigerian legendary artist and revolutionary Fela Anikulapo Kuti. This particular genre has a combination of juju music, high life, jazz and funk rhythms.

Fela Kuti
The king of Afrobeat late Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

In the defense of African millennials like myself who grew up in the diaspora. When we say Afrobeats music, we mean “Music of African origin”. It is a catch-all term used to describe pop music made from Africa – mainly West Africa – Nigeria, Ghana, Congo etc. Rightfully so too, we grew up in an environment whereby things of African origin were seen to be of low value and quality. Many young people were even ashamed to say there were Africans, many claimed to be of West Indies heritage – Jamaica and the likes.

So, for young African millennials growing up in the Uk in the mid-2000s to late 2000s, Afrobeats music united us all. For once, we saw Africans and Carribeans attending the same clubs and parties due to their love for similar music genres. Considering how much bad blood there was between the two racial groups, it was nice to see Afrobeats music unite everyone to a large extent to date. Just by the recent success of Afro Nation 2019 music festival in Portugal organised by the amazing SMADE – Junior Adeosun.

Afronation Portugal 2019
Crowd & stage view from Afronation Portugal, 2019.

Even with all its global attention such as many collaborations with global artists including Beyonce on the recent Disneys Lion King Album, the industry is still plagued by many problems such as piracy due to weak Intellectual Property (IP) laws, poor distribution networks and much more. Many artistes rely on income from live shows, as well as a stipend from sales of their music on the various content platform. The music has also influenced the global explosion of Africa’s fashion industry too, with artists like Burna Boy wearing his favourite African brand in his music videos as well as live shows.

Burna Boy
Self-Proclaimed African Giant Burna Boy rocking Kenneth Ize Aso Oke Trench Coat for Coachella.

On a more positive note, here are some of our top Afrobeats music of all time below by legendary artistes like 2face Idibia, Dbanj, Wizkid, Burna Boy, as well as many new school artists who are surely also on their paths to being regarded as African Musical Legends.

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