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  • Writer's pictureEmmanuel Adu-Awuku

Afrobeats is Blessing Rhythms Across the Globe

Updated: Mar 30


Coastal Ghana


It’s been seven months since Burna Boy created a mazza at the 2022 DStv Delicious event. It’s so easy to relive Odogwu’s brilliant performance because Championship Mode Collective was there to capture it all. Whooo….


Afrobeats went on to close 2022 in supreme fashion with Wizkid, Ckay, Black Sherif, and Yemi Alade among others releasing new sounds to have us grooving through the festive period - Audiomack has recorded 2.5 billion Afrobeats streams streams every month as of August 2022 - that’s a 500% to 3,000% year-on-year music growth across the continent and the globe. Mad!! It’s believable that Audiomack’s trend held to the end of 2022, and will probably hold well into 2023.


2023 is also coming correct with Spinall, Lojay, and Davido releasing early works to keep us inspired…man, what a time to be an Afrobeats superstar!


In my desire to add to the culture, I recently sat down with my Afrobeats paddy, Melody, to discuss what keeps the genre vibing, what we can look forward to in 2023 and over the next few years, and where does it all end for Afrobeats. Enjoy…

Melody and Emmanuel, circa August 2022

 

What are you currently listening to?


Emmanuel: What are you currently listening to?


Melody: That’s a tough question. We were so spoiled last year [2022] that I can’t exclusively say I’m still pondering on Money and Love, or just listening to Burna [Boy].


Emmanuel: It was ridiculous.


Melody: The upcoming artists are really doing it for me…


Emmanuel: They're really good.


Melody: I don’t even know where to start; Rema - we were just listening to Holiday right now and slapping. I remember the first time I listened to Rema, it was his 2019 Colours show…I went insane, whoooo!


Emmanuel: Rema needs to explain the teddy bear to me…because when I watched that Colours show. I exclaimed, is this the right Rema?!


Melody: He killed it. I immediately knew from then I had to follow this guy. His blow up since then?! Are you kidding?!


Emmanuel: Stratosphere…I just love the fact that we have a sound that is ours. No one can come and say we would never have made anything rhythmic…No one can come and say if it wasn’t for xyz there would be no Samsung…If it wasn’t for Fela Kuti, there would be no Afrobeats. And for me, I literally love the fact that it is homegrown. What Afrobeats has allowed other sounds to do is to catch on. Look at what’s happening in South Africa with Amapiano, Bongo music (East Africa) is going through the roof, and the cross overs…


Melody: …with Amapiano as well. How many Afrobeats songs have you listened to with that Amapiano undertone?!

Emmanuel: …and vice versa right?...

 

Who is your top Afro pick for 2022?


Emmanuel: I need a verdict from you. 2022, your top pick? There's no tied for one and two, there's only one. Your credibility is on the line…


Melody: I'm gonna be biased…I already gave context about why I really enjoyed Money and Love….Hey, I'm gonna let you go first because….


Emmanuel: I'll give 2022 to Burna. Solid effort. Love Damini carried us through, still carrying us through. That will be my top pick for 2022.


Melody: I'm going to be biased and say it was Big Wiz for me…The only number one that we recognise…and yes, I gave Burna his flowers. But I’m a diehard Wiz fan. Just that sound, what do you mean?!


Emmanuel: Alright, alright, I get you…

Melody: And yes, we're only talking about them, but I also really enjoyed Rema last year. I think Dirty was released last year. Oooh, he was just doing a lot…the album [Rave & Roses] was FIRE! No, I'm a diehard Rema fan as you can probably tell…


Emmanuel: We need a tour…

 

What are you looking forward to in the genre?


Emmanuel: What are you looking forward to in 2023 and going forward in the next few years in Afrobeats?


Melody: Hmm, there's a collab that I listened to. It's [BNXN fka] Buju, Kizz Daniel, and Seyi Vibez [called Gwagwalada]. It's so fire. But anyways, I make reference to say I'm looking forward to a lot of collabs. In 2022, we got to hear a lot of these [new] artists, their sounds. We got accustomed to who they are and their brand. I'm looking forward to collaborations [and] seeing those sounds mix, especially with the new artists. We've kind of seen the old dogs experiment with that. But with the newbies, that cross [collaborations]? I'm looking forward to that because I have no doubt that individually…


Emmanuel: It's gonna be a knockout…


Melody: That one goes without saying…In future, it's a little bit tough because Afrobeats evolves so quickly…


Emmanuel: That's true. That's true. That's true.


Melody: We could be sitting here saying this now…end of the year, it’s a totally different story. And that's what I like about it, that's how it remains relevant and fresh, man. The wheel just keeps turning. It's a little bit hard to say what it is that I'm looking forward to. All I'm going to say is surprise me y’all. These artists don't miss. So I'll just be here, ready to listen, ready to sample…I’m ready to have a party as always.


Emmanuel: That's a nice way to leave it. For me, not collabs, but that new infusion of energy. Like you said, who's waiting to be discovered? Who's working like rent is due because rent is probably due somewhere! Who's about to break out? That's what I'm looking forward to in 2023. And beyond? It would be the touring. They must tour all 54 [African countries]. They must make us feel special. Burna came, ok cool. I need Rema to come, I need Omah Lay to come. I need Wiz to come. I need Victony to come…


Melody: Where do we sign up?


Emmanuel: Like you said, this is homegrown, this is base camp, and they must just ignite that fire...


Melody: You gotta bring it back here because the fan base is insane. This is where it started. Obviously, they want to venture out. They want to get the music and the sound out there, but sometimes it's important to bring it back home. It would be such a great experience to hear that your favorite Afro artist is touring. Just think about it…


Emmanuel: And just like that, a homegrown perspective…


End of conversation

 

You can listen to the full podcast conversation on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you listen to podcasts - simplify search Championship Flow and click to listen. Don’t forget to like, subscribe, share, and leave a comment and rating.



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