Of particular importance to this op-ed is the phenomenal reception that our most dominant "type" of music, Afrobeats, has received from non-African music tastemakers in recent times. "Afrobeats to the world" has now gone past being just an ordinary phrase to becoming a revolutionary movement celebrating Africa's new stakes and socio-cultural impact of our music on the world today.
While there are ongoing debates in reputable music circles about what type of music most Africans make and whether or not it could be classified collectively as "Afrobeats", one thing most stakeholders have agreed on is that music from Africa or Afrobeats as it were is now a major influence on the global soundscape. Beyonce's "The Lion King - The Gift" soundtrack album released in 2019 readily comes to mind.
Afrobeats as a pattern of music drew its inspiration from the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti's lifelong invention of "Afrobeat ''. As the years went by and music from the shores of Africa unlocked new levels while creators were experimenting, a variety of sounds began to take root and became exclusive sound signatures of our own, which is now regarded worldwide as "Afrobeats". I remember describing Afrobeats as "an offshoot of Fela's home nurtured, continental Afrobeat and a host of other sound signatures exclusively pan African in its intent of creation, delivery and consumption"
Wizkid at the 02 Arena in London
We can now see the wide acceptance of our dear Afrobeats' music in the way and manner most of our original African dance moves are being recreated everywhere. One of Nigeria's most incredible live performers Burna Boy just recently sold out the Madison Square Garden in the United States and has performed in such big arenas all over Europe. His fellow culture ambassador and pop star from Nigeria Wizkid last year also magically shut down the famous UK O2 Arena for three nights in the space of four days, recording massive ticket sales and thrilling thousands of attendees with good music from Africa. Wizkid together with many other Africans like CKay, Amaraee, Tems and Fireboy have now debuted and spent multiple weeks on one of the biggest music charts in the world, the US Billboard Hot 100, raking in different certifications and awards, amongst many other amazing feats.
Burna Boy performing at the Madison Square Garden USA
As Afrobeats continue to conquer new territories and reach for new heights, there would be numerous opportunities for more cultural practitioners in their respective fields to contribute majorly to its growth beyond our land borders. Africa is in pole position to be the highest gainers of this culture boom if she proactively partners with relevant stakeholders to create an environment that would engender the discovery of fresh talents, educating a workforce for the cultural industry and institutionalizing vital elements that contribute to our massive cultural exports