Where Afrobeats reigns supreme, it was an uphill battle for Ric Hassani to cultivate audiences in his native Nigeria. As a self-proclaimed ‘pop-soul’ artist, his tunes were initially dismissed by record executives as not being African enough, but a breakout hit in 2015 set his career on a new trajectory. Hassani struck gold with “Gentleman,” followed by his debut album, African Gentleman which houses records like “Believe” alongside Olamide & Falz and “Only You,” the singer’s gateway to global acclaim. According to Hassani, “the success of ‘Only You’ was validating because I went through a terrible phase to record that album.” The song has since been delivered in Portuguese, Spanish and French by artists from those regions. Subsequently, Hassani has kept pace on charts and at concerts across Malawi, Mauritius, Honduras, Louisiana, St Lucia, and more.