This has been a particularly global year for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The lineup also includes Nigerian stars Mr. Eazi and Burna Boy, two artists representing afrobeats, a genre that’s steadily gaining traction in the U.S. and beyond.
It’s not the first year that Coachella has hosted Nigerian artists. The 2012 performance of Seun Kuti & Egypt 80, featuring Fela Kuti’s youngest son and band, is just one example of the handful of the country’s artists who have played the Indio festival. And 2018 was expected to be a big moment for afrobeats at Coachella when Wizkid was booked, but he missed the gig due to visa issues.
African music continues its meteoric rise across the globe, spearheaded by the resurgence of the Afrobeats movement. From chart-topping pop collaborations with mainstream artists such as Drake, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran and Alicia Keys, to the resounding influence of African producers and artists across the international music industry, the sound that has rocked the continent for decades, now touches the hearts of many around the world.
On April 27, 2019, international music insider Eshoon Nashun will launch the “Coming to America Music Festival” in Washington, DC with some of Africa’s top artists at The Anthem. The newly-built 6,000 seat venue in the Nation’s Capital will be the setting for mega acts including headliner, Davido, Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer.
Just last week, Kida Kudz released another infectious single, “Jiggy Bop”, which saw him unveil even more of his rap range than we had heard on his previous hits, “Issa Vibe” and “Again”.
While Kid Kudz’s melodic delivery certainly made the song extra catchy, it’s the fantastic production work, particularly its mystical beat, that pushed the track over the edge, and that’s all thanks to British-Nigerian production duo, Sons of Sonix.
By Socrates Mbamalu
Alex Boyé has become known for his uplifting music. Now his support of mental health campaigns has seen him being honoured for adding his voice to suicide prevention efforts.
Three years ago, Nigerian-born Alex Boyé appeared on one of America’s best-known talent shows, America’s Got Talent. He was 44 years old at the time and had been singing for 25 years. With his signature white mark under his right eye, a boisterous spirit and great charisma, he took to the stage and blew away the judges with his energy and music. Boyé has gone on to become an important voice in music.
Thutmose is the name of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, but it’s also the stage name of Nigerian-born rapper and songwriter Umar Ibrahim. After immigrating with his family to Brooklyn, N.Y. at the age of 8, Thutmose grew up caught between the America he was experiencing and the America he imagined.
Coming To America 2 is in the works and Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall have already beguntheir fittings for the anticipated film. While fans are looking forward to the resurgence of McDowell’s,Akonincluded, the “Right Now” music maker advises the lead actors to make sure they cast real African stars.
In his feature film debut The Burial of Kojo, Blitz Bazawule tells a story of two brothers through the gaze of a gifted girl who travels between gorgeous lands that exist in life and death.
It’s not your ordinary narrative film, but a cinematic fable that is surreal, magical and infused with Afrofuturistic elements. Yes, it is complex and yes, it will probably make your brain bleed with its visual prowess, but Bazawule isn’t here to give you normal. He’s here to change the game while rattling your senses with a dose of global and inclusive storytelling. As Bazawule said, “Nobody cares about normal, right?”
By Inemesit Udodiong Afrobeat,a fusion of African pop, dance, and hip hop, is having a great moment right now. All over the world, people are listening, dancing and buying tickets to sold-out shows by Nigerian artists.
Now,New York-basedWarner Music Groupjoins the likes ofUniversal Music GroupandSony Music,who have already boarded the Afrobeat train. The world’s third largest record label has a new partnership with Nigerian music labelChocolate City.
Nigeria leads the proliferation of Africa’s new sounds in the West.
By Peace Hyde
In an Africa fresh from economic liberalization, music found a new voice, thanks to social media and platforms like YouTube, Spotify and Apple Music, which streamed thousands of African songs into the homes of millions in the diaspora.
Bas, raised in New York, wants to bring his music to his Sudanese parents’ homeland and to the broader continent. And so do his fans.
By Hannah Giorgis
It all started one night in Lagos, Nigeria. The first time that Bas, the Queens-bred rapper signed to J. Cole’s Dreamville label, performed in front of an African audience was surreal. He’d accompanied Cole on tour following the release ofKOD, the North Carolina rapper’s 2018 album.
Bas, the son of two Sudanese immigrants, had gone to Nigeria just to kick it with his labelmate and longtime friend from Fayetteville. But when Cole asked him to come perform a few songs, Bas planned to play two from his March 2016 album,Too High to Riot.
Nigerian-American music star, Davido, lost to singer Taylor Swift (North America) in the “Favourite Global Music Star” category of the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award which was held at a lavish ceremony at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, March 23.