A groundbreaking music genre was born in the vibrant streets of Nigeria in the 1960s and 1970s. Afrobeat, the brainchild of Nigerian musician and political activist Fela Kuti, emerged as a powerful fusion of traditional African music, highlife, jazz, funk, and more. With its infectious rhythms, mesmerizing percussion, soul-stirring horn sections, and socially conscious lyrics, Afrobeat quickly became a force to be reckoned with. Decades later, a new genre was birthed, Afrobeats (with an s). It takes on influences from Afrobeat and fuses other various genres like juju, dancehall, soca, Naija beats and house. It has made its way across the world into the mainstream and we can’t see to get enough.
Check out some of the hottest Afrobeats sounds from the continent of Africa.
CKay – Love Nwantiti
“Love Nwantiti” is a popular song by Nigerian singer and songwriter CKay. The song was released in 2019 and gained significant attention both in Nigeria and internationally.
“Love Nwantiti” is an Afro-pop/R&B track that combines Afrobeats and contemporary R&B elements. The song features catchy melodies, rhythmic percussion, and smooth vocals from CKay. The lyrics revolve around a romantic relationship, expressing affection and desire for a loved one.
Libianca – People
Libianca’s breakthrough single, “People,” exemplifies the power of channeling personal pain. The vibrant Afrobeats sound of the song is complemented by poignant lyrics like, “I’ve been drinking more alcohol for the past five days, did you check on me? Now, did you look for me?” which shed light on the impact of substance abuse on mental health.
Tems – Free Mind
Tems collaborated with co-producer Omeiza to write and produce the song “Free Mind.” She delves into the challenges posed by difficult circumstances and confronts her inner struggles. Tems expresses her concerns about these problems overpowering her and leading her down a path of darkness. To find solace, she seeks liberation from the confines of her mind, turning to God in hopes of attaining freedom and inner peace.
Burna Boy – Last Last
On Last Last Burna Boy addresses a series of personal events that occurred in his life. On December 21, 2021, Burna Boy announced via Instagram that he and Stefflon Don had ended their three-year relationship. In the song “Last Last,” he addresses the challenges he faced after their split.
“I no holy and I no denge pose like Baba Fryo, My eye o don cry o”
He addresses his imperfections as a boyfriend and the heartbreak he felt when the relationship was over, causing him to shed tears.
On February 27, 2022, Burna Boy survived a car accident in Lagos’ Lekki area while driving his new Ferrari 458.
“Now you crash your Ferrari for lekki Burna Na small thing remain, could have been all over My feelings still dey swing like jangolova.”
Oxlade – Ku Lo Sa
“Ku Lo Sa” is an enchanting love song by Oxlade that combines English and Pidgin English lyrics. Derived from Yoruba, the word “Ku Lo Sa” represents the idea of getting closer. Oxlade’s heartfelt lyrics express his infatuation with his love interest and his longing for a deeper connection and intimacy.