Skip to content

The Industry Has Failed to Acknowledge the Complexities of African Music

Technology has been reshaping the music industry, particularly over the past decade, but old attitudes sometimes die hard. Thanks to streaming, new artists and genres are attracting global attention, but the industry has been slow to embrace the nuances of individual identities and styles, especially when it comes to Africa. The most recent cringe-worthy event concerned the Apple Music Awards, whose careless approach to nominations created a social media firestorm. The tech giant gave out several awards to artists across the world, including a trio of Artist of the Year recognitions— a first in the awards’ history. Artist of the Year recipients were Japan’s Official Hige, France’s Aya Nakamuraa, and Nigeria’s Wizkid. However, rather than mention Wizkid’s homeland of Nigeria, his home ‘country’ was simply listed as Africa.