Curious minds select the most fascinating podcasts from around the world. Discover hand-piqd audio recommendations on your favorite topics.
The story of how Nigeria's music went global is an interesting one. For most of the world, their introduction to Afrobeats might have been through Drake's One Dance a few years back. For music aficionados though, this moment might simply have been when Nigeria cemented its place in the global pop scene, but the country had already been taking over for years. Collaborations were likely the best way that Nigerian artists came to be known abroad, but even without those, the large Nigerian global diaspora has been doing a great job at influencing culture in the cities they inhabit – from Houston to London to NYC.
The accompanying article to this video explores the spread of Afrobeats further.
There’s a particular story that best captures the global phenomenon of Nigeria’s Afrobeats music: When Davido, one of Nigeria’s biggest popstars, performed in Suriname, a tiny country in the northeastern pocket of South America last May, 10,000 people turned up. Even Davido was surprised.
While there are still challenges in large Nigerian artists getting paid for their work in Nigeria (given piracy issues), global fame and concert fees are enabling them to succeed in a way that has never been seen before.
Over the past decade, a new generation of Nigerian pop stars, like Davido, Wizkid, Niniola and Tiwa Savage have seen the sounds of their Afrobeats music win fans far beyond Nigeria’s shores. The country’s music stars are selling out concert venues in New York, Paris and London, and performing at major music festivals.
The Nigerian diaspora has been phenomenal in spreading the love of Afrobeats, but social media has also played a huge role. The entry of Sony and Universal Music into Nigeria could be a sign that now Afrobeats stars could get recording and distribution deals without having to leave the country and continent that provide the inspiration for their music.