Tracking the genre’s evolution from West African sounds into global smash hits
How did Afrobeats evolve from its early origins in Ghana to become one of the fastest-growing music genres in the world? Who were the artists at the centre of that evolution and who is the most streamed Afrobeats artist of all time? These are just some of the questions answered in the latest updates to Spotify’s Afrobeats: Journey to a Billion Streams site.
The site, launched last month, acts as a repository for all things Afrobeats. With bi-weekly updates, it journeys from the origins of the genre, through its evolution, its fusion with different sounds right through to becoming an ambassador for African culture abroad.
What’s new this week:
The updated Afrobeats website showcases the genre’s constant thirst for reinvention, with research conducted on behalf of Spotify by research firm Kuvora finding that 90% of fans expect Afrobeats to continue evolving.
The latest updates to the site explore the evolution of Afrobeats through three distinct eras of creativity that laid the foundation for Afrobeats’ connection to global audiences. From the early era of Hip Hop-influenced but locally rooted sounds to the infusion of foreign influences and local lyrics, and the definitive hits that marked pivotal moments, the website provides a comprehensive exploration of Afrobeats’ journey.
The evolution story also explores the key figures who have played significant roles in shaping and propelling Afrobeats forward. From trailblazers like 2Face Idibia, P-Square, and Wande Coal to influential women such as Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, these artists have defied stereotypes, broken barriers, and taken Afrobeats to unprecedented heights.
This week’s updates also include exclusive video interviews with:
Sarz, a Nigerian producer and musician
Obi Asika, CEO of Storm Records, one of Nigeria’s pioneer music labels
May7ven, a UK based Afrobeats artist and pioneer
Kofi Bansah, a Ghanaian music producer
We’re also sharing new data including:
The top streamed Afrobeats artists of all time
The number of hours of Afrobeats music streamed last year
We’ve also updated the top-streamed songs in the top streaming cities, so be sure to check out what people are playing on repeat right now.
“Afrobeats ascending to where it is today has taken a proverbial village. Multiple players from the artists themselves to DJs on the continent and in the diaspora, and the very loud and proud fans have helped shape the music which draws from an array of sonic influences. Today Afrobeats is an undeniable influence on global pop culture thanks to these contributors,” says Phiona Okumu, Head of Music for Spotify in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We invite you to explore Spotify’s updated Afrobeats website, which offers an immersive experience that celebrates the evolution and impact of this vibrant genre. If you are interested in additional information, interviews, or want to make use of any of the content on the site, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
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