African Rhythms On Global Stages

By: Banzi Mehlo

A couple of days ago, I was reading the latest issue of Billboard magazine where Tiwa Savage, Mr Eazi and Davido were the cover stars. The article was discussing how the artists took the African artistry to the world. The story inspired me to talk about other musicians who stayed true to their roots and how they are making moves in the industry. I want to take a look at some of the fan favorites; Sho Madjozi, Wizkid, Burna Boy and other breakout stars of our continent.

Davido came in the scene with his single Dami Duro in 2012 and little did the world know, he was well on his way to becoming an international superstar. He has since worked with Tinashe, Meek Mill and Quavo (Swing also featuring rising popstar, Normani). While we were still witnessing Davido representing Africa overseas, Nigerian-born star, Wizkid,  came right on time as the next big thing.

When Wizkid released “Ojuelegba” in 2014, we were not expecting him to be the massive success he is today. It was Wizkid’s storytelling of his Nigerian background, through his catchy hooks, that earned him a place in the industry with his banging collaborations with Drake (One Dance and Closer) and Beyoncé’s motivational hit, “Brown Skin Girl”. Since then, we’ve seen African music taking centre stage in pop culture’s major hits.

With Burna Boy’s catchy lyricism and distinct voice, he has proved to be quite unique. When I first heard him on A.K.A’s summer hit All Eyes On Me, I really wasn’t ready for him to take over with such rapidness. He has made a name in the UK music industry with collaborations that include Stormzy, Ed Sheeran, Lily Allen and Jorja Smith.

And South Africa has by far produced a sensational artist that has energy that radiates from her colorful style and stage presence. Hitmaker, Sho Madjozi got us hooked when she gave us Dumi HiPhone in 2017. The young artist has cemented herself as a powerhouse, with multiple hits including Huku and internationally acclaimed John Cena. Meeting John Cena in person was not the only great moment in her career, she also took home the 2019 BET award for “Best New International Act”.

As we are celebrating Africa month, it’s in moments like these when we have to take time to appreciate and celebrate our artists, who have consistently shown the world how we get down. It is amazing to witness the vibrant Afrobeats influencing the global music industry and our musicians making a statement that we are here to stay.

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