Afrobeat is a music genre which involves various combinations and elements of West African music styles, such as: Fuji, highlife music, American funk and jazz influence, with a focus of chanted local complex intersecting rhythms and percussion.
Fela Anikulapo Kuti is seen as the major pioneer of the genre, as he brought Afrobeat to the shores of Nigeria. And this legacy has been carried by some Nigeria music artistes, from time past, till date.
Therefore, in no particular order, below are some of the artistes who have kept the fire burning, in the Afrobeats sphere.
Starting with the son of the Afrobeat legend, Fela Kuti, we have:
- Femi Kuti
Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti popularly known as Femi Kuti is a Nigerian musician/song writer born on the 16th June 1962.
Femi Kuti is the oldest son of the afrobeat pioneer, Fela Kuti and the grandson of political campaigner, women’s right activist and traditional aristocrat ,Fumilayo Ransome Kuti.
He began his musical career playing in his father’s band, Egypt 80. In the year 1986, Femi Kuti started his own band, confirming himself as an artiste independent of his father’s enormous legacy.
Femi has more than four albums to his name which are, Shoki Skoki (1998), Day by Day(2008), Africa for Africa (2010), No place for my dream (2013). He has been nominated four times (in 2002, 2009, 2011 and 2013) respectively for a Grammy award in the best world music album category.
Olufemi Kuti is a true legend to reckon with, and we hope and pray he continues to shine the light lit by his iconic father, Fela.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid, has gradually become Nigeria most celebrated artiste, showing his fans what it means to be consistent.
Wizkid has achieved a lot in the music industry making him one of the most talked about artiste in Nigeria. He has lots of album to his name, in the likes of Superstar (2011), Ayo(2014), Sound from the other side (2017), and others, all featuring afrobeat styles, lyrics (perhaps) and the likes.
His contributions to the Nigeria music industry has earned him several achievements, catapulting him to one of the most enviable spot on the Africa music ladder.
3. Tiwa Savage
Tiwatope Savage with her stage name Tiwa Savage is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who keenly is one of the major artiste taking the Afrobeat genre to a whole new level. She began her music career doing backup vocals for artistes such as Mary J Blige and George Michael.
Savage signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV music publishing in 2009. Motivated by the growth of the Nigeria music industry, she moved back to Nigeria and signed with Mavin Records in 2012. Ever since then , Tiwa Savage has been up and doing by making sure she dropped crispy hit singles year after year.
On 5th September 2019, she released 49-99 her first single with Motown records. The song references the line “49 sitting 99 standing”from Fela Kuti’s 1978 hit “Suffering and Smiling”. It was described as a blend of Afrobeat, R&B and Pop music.
Tiwa has also won many awards that has made her come a long way in the industry.
The African Giant, Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu professionally known as Burnaboy is a Nigerian singer and a songwriter.
Burnaboy rose to his limelight in 2012 after releasing “like to party” the lead single from his debut studio album Leaving an Impact life For Eternity, L. I. F. E (2013)
Ever since then, he has put so much work in his musical career by bringing hits after hits .
He has won so many awards including: the South South awards in the category of best Pop, Nigeria Entertainment award, BET Awards(best international Act, The Headies among others.
On a lighter note, Burnaboy describes his music as Afro Fusion,a genre that blends Afrobeat, dancehall rhythms, Reggae, American rap and R&B, he sure knows the best words to describe his music, no doubt!
David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known by his stage name Davido is also one artiste who has brought the Afrobeat genre to where it is today. He came into limelight after releasing”Dami Duro” and since then he has been releasing songs retaining him in the spotlight.
Davido’s second studio album “A good Time” was released on November 22, 2019. The album features the previously released singles “IF”, “Fall”, “Assurance”, “Blow my mind”, “Risky”. He made it known to the Vibe magazine, he wanted to record in a new environment, with this, he recorded “A Good Time” in Atlanta. Davido describes the album as a body of work for everybody and said it would predominantly consist of Afrobeat, however, it would also incorporate elements of other genres.
Our hopes are shot high,
As we believe these icons and many other thriving musicians would continue to take Afrobeats to the world!