Afrobeat was developed in Nigeria in the late 1960s by Fela Kuti who, with drummer Tony Allen, experimented with different contemporary music of that time. Afrobeat was influenced by a variety of genres, such as highlife, fuji, and jùjú. It is a fusion of various musical styles, including highlife, Afrobeat, dancehall, and hip hop, blended with traditional African rhythms and percussion. Afrobeats is characterized by its infectious melodies, rhythmic beats, and vibrant energy, creating a sound that is both uplifting and danceable.
The genre gained international recognition through the efforts of artists such as Fela Kuti, who pioneered Afrobeat music in the 1970s. However, it was in the 2000s that Afrobeats truly began to make waves globally, with artists like D'banj, Wizkid, KiDi, Kuami Eugene, King Promise and Davido leading the charge. Their tunes and catchy hooks helped popularize Afrobeats beyond the African continent.
Lyrically, Afrobeats often touches on themes of love, celebration, social issues, and personal experiences. Artists use a mix of English, Pidgin English, and local languages to convey their messages, adding an authentic and culturally rich element to the music.
Afrobeats has become a global phenomenon, influencing and collaborating with artists from different genres and cultures. Its fusion of African rhythms with contemporary sounds has attracted a wide audience, and Afrobeats tracks can often be heard in clubs, festivals, and radio stations worldwide.