Skip to content

How Afrobeats is Making the World Listen

Suddenly, it seems that Afrobeats is taking over the music world. Originating with a group of prominent West African DJs in the early 2000s, it was a mix of electronic and dance music grounded in African percussion. It spread like wildfire through the African diaspora and crossed over into the popular mainstream thanks to artists like Burna Boy and WizKid. Coined in the aughts, Afrobeats (with an “S”) is similar in name to the Afrobeat music popularized by Fela Kuti in the 1970s but is distinct in its more modern origin and flavour. While Kuti’s music was characteristically political and orchestral, Afrobeats is often jovial, digitally produced, and sung in English, West African, and pidgin languages.