Taarifa Rwanda

African Music Finally Rises To The Top

It is becoming clear how African music especially Afrobeats genre is reaching farther and becoming more famous across the world.

A few days ago, American superstar Beyoncé Giselle Knowles, showed her interest in African music when she chose to use best Afrobeats artistes in curating a track list to her album, The Lion King: The Gift.

The soundtrack was digitally released on July 11, 2019, while both the soundtrack’s CD and Beyoncé’s album were released on July 19, 2019.

She explains that this project is a love letter to Africa which is why it was important for her to create authentic African music by collaborating with these acts.

Beyoncé delivered on her promise to find ‘the best talent from Africa’ and to let them shine, rather than just use some of the sounds and create her own interpretation.

“The soundtrack is a love letter to Africa and I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, not just use some of the sounds and do my own interpretation of it,” she said in an interview.

To do so, she enlisted a vast range of global artists to lend their vocals to her produced soundtrack.

The 14-track project titled, The Lion King: The Gift, features six Nigerian music superstars the likes of Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy,Tekno and Eazi.

Ghana’s Shatta Wale, Cameroon’s Salatiel and South Africa’s Busiswa and Moonchild Sanelly are also on the album.

The star-studded album also features the likes of Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Pharrell, among others.

According to Kareem Mobolaji a digital marketing director, international features are mutually beneficial for global stars and African artists.

“Americans and others are paying more attention now. The likes of Wizkid have shown how their presence on songs can help increase sales and listening across Africa and indeed all over the world,” he said.

Nigerian broadcaster Adesope Olajide, popularly known as Shopsydoo observes that Afrobeats and Afropop are undeniably the fastest-growing black genres in the world outside of hip-hop which justifies the rush for African pop stars by international record labels.

According to Tunecore digital music distributors, world music, the category under which African music is mostly classified, is one of the fastest-growing music genres with a 57% increase in 2018.

Music streaming in Africa has also seen 146% growth – the fastest worldwide.

International record labels like Universal Music Group have already expanded to the continent with offices in Nigeria, Kenya, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

Sony Music, meanwhile, has bases in Nigeria and South Africa.

Warner Music Group, which has a presence in South Africa, also recently partnered with Nigerian record label Chocolate City.

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