Music is a great way of expressing emotions, expressing feelings and telling stories. African music has come a long way right from the yesteryears to the current reality. Many Africans are paying more attention to music in this age than before. The creative art of music is now being seen as one of the quickest means of becoming rich and famous.
The African rhythm has evolved over the years. While growing up as kids in Southern Nigeria, we used to listen to great tunes by music giants like Youssou N’dour, Fela, Miriam Makeba, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Kofi Olomide, Hugh Makesela, Lucky Dube etc. Now we listen to bling bling new generation musicians.
While you are stuck in traffic in Lagos, you could hear a Wizkid track blaring from the speakers in a record shop. While having a ride in a Nairobi matatu, you could be downloading Sauti Sol’s latest single onto your mobile phone. You could be grooving to a P-square track in a night club in Johannesburg, while it wouldn’t be out of place to be dancing to a Yemi Alade’s hit in Tanzania.
The new generation African rhythm is dynamic and is heavily influenced by the youth culture. We have the Kwaito sound from South Africa, Azonto genre from Ghana, Afro beats and Gbedu from Nigeria, the Rastafarian raggae beats from Ethiopia, the Soukous genre from the Congo basin, etc. Music acts have been able to harness these sounds into various genres of rap, dance-hall, R&b and highlife tunes.
Music is a universal language, so no matter the language a musician uses to sing, he or she could have commercial success in other countries on the continent. This explains why some musicians from Nigeria are big on the continent and have more fans in other African countries than in their country, Nigeria.
Lately I have been listening to Soukous music. The beats are enchanting Do you listen to African music? Who is your favorite African artist?