Afrobeats

Afrobeats (not to be confused with Afrobeat or Afroswing[1]), also known as Afro-pop, Afro-fusion (also styled as Afropop and Afrofusion), is an umbrella term to describe popular music from West Africa and the diaspora[2][3] that initially developed in Nigeria, Ghana, and the UK in the 2000s and 2010s. Afrobeats is less of a style per se, and more of a descriptor for the fusion of sounds flowing out of Ghana and Nigeria. Genres such as hiplife, jùjú music, highlife and naija beats, among others, were amalgamated under the 'afrobeats' umbrella.[4][5][6][7]

Afrobeats is primarily produced in Lagos, Accra, and London. Historian and cultural critic Paul Gilroy reflects on the changing London music scene as a result of shifting demographics:[8]

We are moving towards an African majority which is diverse both in its cultural habits and in its relationship to colonial and postcolonial governance, so the shift away from Caribbean dominance needs to be placed in that setting. Most of the grime folks are African kids, either the children of migrants or migrants themselves. It's not clear what Africa might mean to them.

In his earlier book, The Black Atlantic, Gilroy rejects the notion that Black culture and music can be bound to one geographical region (Gilroy 16[9]). Afrobeats definitely exemplifies this syncretism as a transnational genre that is now getting international attention. David Drake writes particularly about popular Nigerian music and notes it is "Picking up on trends from the U.S., Jamaica, and Trinidad, they reimagine diasporic influences and—more often than not—completely reinvent them" (Drake[10]).


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