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Why the Afrobeats New School Is Taking Over

by Dikos Nestaa

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In the past two years, fresh Afrobeats artists have emerged with a new sound, an irresistible vibe and everyone’s trying to get a taste of the juice. 

There’s no doubt that Afrobeats has broken new records and shot through international ceilings. Afrobeats needs no introduction as artists from Africa; Nigeria especially has given this music genre new wings to fly.  

It’s worthy to note that Nigeria keeps birthing fresh Afrobeats artists that have produced chart-topping singles in such a short time.  

We’ve seen an artist like D’banj shine the light of international collaborations like Snoop Dog on Mr Endowed and Pitbull on the remix of ‘Oliver Twist’.

Wizkid is one artist amongst others that have placed Afrobeats on the world map with major hits and international collaborations.  

No doubt, Wizkid was and still is a sensation during his early years in the industry. In 2013 alone, Wizkid was featured on 16 different singles. Every established artist and ‘about to blow’ artist wanted Wizkid on a track.  

Wizkid has taken Afrobeats beyond the shores of Africa, from producing a classic album, ‘Superstar’ to a collaboration with Drake, selling out Royal Albert Hall to topping Billboard charts. This credit doesn’t go to just Wizkid; Davido, Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy and Yemi Alade are quite instrumental to this beautiful growth of the African sound, Afrobeats. 

Wizkid

Like American Rapper, Wale rightfully said, ‘Afrobeats being the best alternative to hip hop and taking over the world was bound to happen. Africans are everywhere.’ The sound is undeniable, it has always been a matter of time. 

As we’ve evolved into a generation that grew up on the internet, there’s fresh talent on the rampage. What’s more interesting is the way they’ve emerged. The internet.  

These Afrobeats ‘New School’ are doing things on their own terms, creating new sounds and somehow waltzed their way into the heart of their audience.  

Take Teni The Entertainer, who was literally begged by her fans and followers on Instagram to make her viral freestyle of Chief Stephen Osadebe sound into a single titled, “Fargin”.  

Teni makanaki

Teni is a blend of what you’ll call good music and satire. Her first single, “Fargin” addressed the issues of rape and sexual exploitation. Teni like the others has confidently taken Afrobeats music beyond just vibes. Like Teni said in an interview, “Music is a weapon.” And she has indeed handled the weapon quite well.  

Then, there’s 19-year-old teenage pop-sensation Rema, whose 2019 song “Dumebi” got him rubbing shoulders with charts-topping superstars. Rema came in with a different sound that many attributed to Bollywood influences but Rema gives credit to the Trap genre as his biggest musical influence.  

Rema Fader

Rema’s “Iron Man” made it to Obama’s 2019 Summer Playlist.  

Despite their different attributes and time of discovery, Teni and Rema were both discovered on Instagram.  

But the year 2019 didn’t just shine the light towards Rema. The year unveiled 23-year-old singer/songwriter, Fireboy DML signed to Olamide’s YBNL and Mr Eazi’s ‘emPawa’ discovered, 22-year-old Joeboy.  

Fireboy dropped an album, “Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps” that was well received by fans and got great reviews from industry elites. The album boasts of beautiful songwriting by Fireboy and no feature. He describes his sound as a blend of Jon Bellion, Wande Coal and Passenger. Fireboy names this blend “Afro Life”. 

Joeboy, fresh and young, brought dynamic storytelling into Afrobeats. He linked up his songs in a beautiful love story that left his fans thrilled. He also released an EP, ‘Love and Light’, which received good reviews. 

What’s even cooler about this new school of Afrobeats artists is their fanbase. The older generation is fascinated by their music and it’s obvious that the baton is ready to be passed.  

This fresh wave of artists like Teni the entertainer, Rema, Fireboy DML and Joeboy are making music that cultivates a loyal fanbase by being themselves. We think their success is going to force the older artists like Wizkid, Davido and Tiwa Savage to catch up with the transformation that is going on. 

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