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The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Rise of Afrobeats

Pictured here are the artists leading the wave of the success of Afrobeats worldwide. Photo Provided By: Vanguard

The sun begins to set and the vibrant beats of Afrobeats fill the air, enticing people from all walks of life to move their bodies in sync with the infectious rhythm. What was once a genre deeply rooted in Africa has grown into a global phenomenon, captivating music lovers around the world. The rise of Afrobeats, a fusion of traditional African rhythms with Western influences, has been a remarkable journey that showcases the power of cultural exchange and the unifying force of music.

Afrobeats traces its origins back to the 1960s in Nigeria, when the legendary Fela Kuti infused Afrobeat, a blend of traditional African music, jazz, and funk, with messages of political activism and societal critique. This genre served as the foundation upon which the modern Afrobeats sound was built. Fast forward to the 21st century, and Afrobeats has experienced a resurgence, blending elements of highlife, hip-hop, and dancehall to create a fresh and captivating sound.

In recent years, Afrobeats has rapidly gained popularity in the West, winning over a wide audience with its infectious melodies and energetic dance routines. Artists like Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Tiwa Savage, Rema and Ayra Starr, Kizz Daniel and Asake have emerged as the faces of Afrobeats, captivating listeners with their unique style and international appeal. These artists have successfully crossed over to mainstream Western music, collaborating with renowned artists such as Beyoncé, Drake, and Major Lazer, Selena Gomez, Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber, further propelling Afrobeats into the global spotlight.

The rise of Afrobeats can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, the ease of access to music through streaming platforms and social media has enabled artists to reach a wider audience. This has not only connected Afrobeats artists to their diaspora communities but has also allowed their music to transcend cultural barriers and capture the attention of music enthusiasts worldwide.

Recently in 2021, Wizkid and Tems made history with their smash worldwide hit, Essence and became the first Nigerian song in history to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Calm Down by Rema became a global sensation this year and the remix with pop artist Selena Gomez brought the single to number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

The globalization of music has created opportunities for artists to collaborate and fuse different genres, resulting in a fresh and unique sound. Afrobeats blends elements of African traditional music with pop, hip-hop, and dancehall, creating a vibrant and dynamic sonic landscape that appeals to a diverse audience.

The universal themes present in Afrobeats lyrics have contributed to its growing popularity. Songs have spawned dance challenges on social media platforms such as, Tik Tok, propelling these songs and artists to mainstream success. Afrobeats reflects the experiences and aspirations of its listeners, touching on themes like love, unity, empowerment, and cultural pride. This relatability has resonated with people from various backgrounds, fostering a sense of connection and unity among fans.

Andre Okogho, a fan of Afrobeats and Nigerian, said he is proud of the success of this genre. “I think the rise of Afrobeats is interesting because Afro inspired kinda fell off after Fela Kuti, Andre says. The rise again is a great way of showing our culture as Africans and debunking what we often see in the media that we Africans are always sad and hungry. Afrobeats contradicts this with a happy, positive and energetic tone.”

As Afrobeats continues to make waves globally, it is important to recognize the cultural significance of the genre. Afrobeats represents a celebration of African heritage and a testament to the power of music as a tool for cultural exchange and expression. Its rise showcases the richness and diversity of African music, challenging stereotypes and opening doors for more representation and recognition of African artists on the global stage.

The rise of Afrobeats is a testament to the power of music to transcend borders and unite people through shared rhythms and melodies. With its infectious energy and captivating sound, Afrobeats has conquered the hearts of music lovers around the world. As artists like Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Tiwa Savage and Tems, Rema and Ayra Starr continue to pave the way, Afrobeats is set to solidify its position as a mainstream genre, bridging cultures and shaping the global music landscape for years to come.

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About the Contributor
Danielle Okogho, Copy Editor
Danielle Okogho is a senior at Santa Rosa Academy. She joined journalism this year because of her love for writing and wanting to get involved with the school. Born and raised in the vibrant Orange County CA, she has been to London, Paris, Belgium, and Nigeria and wants to go to Italy. Her hope for college is to go to the University of San Diego. She likes to write, play basketball, watch movies, and listen to R&B and pop. Her favorite artist right now is SZA. She is a Marvel fan and loves Black Panther and X-Men.  Her favorite movies are The Dark Knight and Back To The Future. Her goals for this year is to make the most of it, maintain her grades, and keep it positive.
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