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Nigerian Music: Is Afrobeat The Same As Afropop?


So many people from music lovers to music critics especially the ones outside Nigeria tag many songs that come from Africa, Afrobeat. However, most of these songs belong to a new school music genre called Afropop.  This confusion has become so rife there is the need to give an answer. This piece will shed some light on the relationship between Afrobeat and Afropop and make a clear distinction between the old and new music genres.

Afrobeat is a music genre created by late Fela Anikulapo. It is a music genre which emerged from a fusion of Nigerian and Ghanaian Highlife, Jazz and some other alien music genres. The instrumentation of an Afrobeat music is dominated by brass instruments and heavy drums. On the other hand, Afropop music is a not necessarily dominated by heavy drums and saxophone. It is a non-rap music genre that came on board in the late 1990s and was introduced to the Nigerian music scene by artistes and groups like Paul Play, Plantashun Boiz, Remedies, late Nomoreloss to mention a few.

Though it was not called Afropop as many artistes then thought they were doing ‘Hip-Hop’. The wide music genre became popular and more acceptable in the early days of music careers of artistes as Wizkid and Davido. The new generation artistes got their inspiration from the songs of Nigerian music veterans across diverse traditional music genres as Highlife, Juju, Fuji and Afrobeat and also from America pop. The influence of these traditional genres coupled with the influence of Western pop birthed Afropop which Davido called ‘Afro-fusion’.

While many Nigerian artistes still do Afrobeat, which is a music genre on its own, it has now fallen under the big umbrella of Afropop and could now be seen as just an arm of Afropop.

If you disagree with my submission, drop your comments below.

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