Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Evolution Of The Nigerian Afrobeat Sounds

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The term Afrobeat is something a lot of people are conversant with because of the rate at which Nigerian artists have adopted the sound into their music. Fela Anikulapo Kuti
While the Afrobeat sound is the sound that gets everyone dancing now, it was pioneered by the one and only music legend Fela Anikulapo Kuti back in the 90s. The sound Afrobeat was developed in the late 1960s led by Fela who was a multi-instrumentalist and singer hailing from Nigeria, he came to prominence in the 70s for his wildly ambitious compositions that incorporated both western and native influences.davido Kuti’s music was often politically driven, and covered topics such as hedonism, black power, and dictatorship. Over the course of his career as a musician, he often travelled to America where he would soak up the American-American culture and apply these sounds to his own music, contrasting traditional West-African highlife music with American jazz and funk.
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Fela with his drummer Tony Allen, experimented with different contemporary music of the time. Hence it can be said that the unique sound was birthed out of Fela’s creativity and desire for change in every ramification.tiwa savage It is noteworthy that Afrobeat stemmed from Highlife, which began in Ghana in the early 1920s. During that time, Ghanaian musicians incorporated foreign influences like the foxtrot and calypso with Ghanaian rhythms such as osibisaba (Fante). Yoruba percussion and vocal traditions were incorporated as well. Highlife was associated with the local African aristocracy during the colonial period and was played by numerous bands. Now, this was the music Fela and Tony Allen played and listened to when they were young. Growing up surrounded by these rich sounds, it is only natural to have a combination of everything. Kuti’s musical style is what is now called Afrobeat that a lot of young artist have adopted. The complex fusion of jazz, funk, highlife, and traditional Nigerian, and African chants and rhythms make it stand out no matter what. seyi shayOver the decades, Afrobeat has continued to evolve further into the 2000s, with artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Wande Coal, Tekno, and others bearing on the touch. So far, they have succeeded in thrusting Afrobeat into urban territory, fusing Afrobeats with other styles such as R&B, dancehall, and hip-hop.
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With the advent of the digital age making music more accessible than ever before, it’s no surprise that young African artists are finding their voice internationally.waje What began as a relatively niche sound has now become a worldwide sensation, opening a dialogue between the African youth and pop culture. With budding singers, producers, and DJ’s being able to showcase their work online, Afrobeat has quickly caught the attention of major labels, allowing the more recent wave of artists to find their way onto western radio stations. As a result, artists such as Dua Lipa, Drake, Rihanna, and Ariana Grande have all incorporated Afrobeat rhythms into their music. For instance, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Davido have succeeded in shutting down the 02 Arena in London. temsA special mention goes to the African giant, Burna Boy who is now the first-ever African musician to sell out the Madison Square Garden in London, for his just-concluded show and it was epic. A lot of his colleagues in the industry have been hailing him because he indeed is a performer. Now seeing feats like this being achieved just goes to show that the Afrobeat sound is the new cool for music worldwide and sooner or later, it will be the sound of the century. Let’s not forget other places like Coachella Festival, California, The Royal Albert Hall, London, and so on. Fast-rising stars like Omah-Lay, Fireboy, Joeboy, Buju, Lojay, Ruger, etc are taking the sound far and wide. Other Nigerian Afrobeat stars include Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Simi, Teni, Seyi Shay, Adekunle Gold, Tems, 2Baba, Olamide, Falz, and more.wizkid week afrobeat
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