The global appreciation of West Africa’s Afro-beat music has grown significantly in the last decade. Afro-beat stars are touring the world, racking up record sales, winning awards and collaborating with big-name international artists. Recently, Nigeria’s other musical giant, Burna Boy sold out Madison Square Garden in New York!
In fact, seven of the nine African artists nominated for a 2022 Grammy Award – one of the world’s most sought after music awards – are West African. Most of these make music driven by Afro-beat sounds.
Afro-beats is a broad, generic term for African contemporary popular music with rhythmic and harmonic influences of West Africa’s highlife and Afro-beat traditions and Euro-American funk and hip-hop, popularized by the iconic, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
For the 2022 edition of the Grammy Awards, Nigeria’s Wizkid is nominated twice – for best global music album and best global performance. Wizkid won his first Grammy Award in 2021 for the video of Brown Skin Girl, a track he made with US superstar Beyoncé.
The 31-year-old stands out as a leading Afro-beat artist from Nigeria whose music has already made a huge sway on the charts of many countries. Wizkid boasts over thirty-two hits, more than seventy music awards, fifty singles and four albums, as well as sold out concert performances across Africa, Europe and America. As a result, he commands a fan base of more than 30 million combined followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
His songs straddle the rhythmic texture of Nigerian pop that connects with West African diaspora communities across the globe. And when it comes to his career, he set his eyes firmly on America and strategically propelled himself to global fame.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.