Afrobeat is the African musical genre that has grown in popularity all over the world. Big concerts involving African artists attract huge crowds in cities like London, New York and Dubai. This report in papermag.com reviews One Africa Music Fest in New York’s Cooney Island and the stars that made the night.
With less than one hour to showtime — the rain didn’t let up, and neither did the crowd. In fact the 5,000+ fans who checked in to Coney Island’s outdoor theater venue never left until the marathon 10-hour concert was over. Rain or more rain: they had good reason to stay. This wasn’t an ordinary show, but a special gathering of Africa’s leading Afrobeat stars performing at the annual One Africa Music Fest Concert. The growth of this genre, which seamlessly blends traditional West African music with Western influences, is fueled by a short list of pan-African and Caribbean entertainers, many of whom were front and center at Saturday night’s concert. From dancers to DJs to the artists themselves, we captured them all backstage, where they shared their thoughts on why they love the genre, and why it’s here to stay.