Afrobeat is a Nigerian music genre that involves the combination of West African musical styles (such as traditional Yoruba music and highlife) and American funk, jazz, and soul influences, with a focus on chanted vocals, complex intersecting rhythms, and percussion. The style was pioneered in the 1960s by Nigerian multi-instrumentalists and bandleader Fela Kuti who is responsible for popularizing the style both within and outside Nigeria.
Afrobeat was developed in Nigeria in the late 1960s by Fela Kuti who, with drummer Tony Allen, experimented with different contemporary music of the time. Afrobeat was influenced by a variety of genres, such as highlife, fuji, and jùjú, as well as Yoruba vocal traditions, rhythm, and instruments. In the late 1950s, Kuti left Lagos to study abroad at the London School of Music where he was exposed to jazz. He returned to Lagos and played a highlife-jazz hybrid, albeit, without commercial success.
In 1969, Kuti and his band went on a trip to the U.S. and met Sandra Smith, a singer and former Black Panther. Sandra Smith (now known as Sandra Izsadore or Sandra Akanke Isidore) introduced Kuti to many writings of activists such as Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, Jesse Jackson, and his biggest influence of all, Malcolm X.
Afrobeat Genre has grown world wide and influenced by the likes of Wizkid, Davido, Joeboy, Asake, Mayorkun, Rema, Ayra Star, Blaqbonez, Burna Boy, Omah Lay, Fireboy DML, Ruger, Kizz Daniel, Buju, Pheelz & Young Jonn.
Afrobeat has not just gone far like African HipHop influenced by Ladipoe, AKA, Black Sherif, Nasty C, Kwesta, Jeriq, Sarkodie, K.O, M.I Abaga, Falz & Ycee.
Amapiano (Zulu for “the pianos”)is a style of house music that emerged in South Africa in the mid 2010s. It is a hybrid of deep house, jazz and lounge music characterized by synths and wide percussive basslines.
An important element of the genre is the use of the “log drum”, a wide percussive bassline, whose creation has been attributed to MDU aka TRP. Amapiano pioneer Kabza De Small.
In 2019, the genre experienced increased popularity across the African continent with noted increases in digital streams and chart successes in countries far from its South African origin.
In 2022, the American online music store Beatport added the genre to its platform with it own dedicated charts and playlists.
The genre was popular amongst young people on the platform TikTok, which saw various dance challenges being made, which fueled the dancing scene in South Africa.
Afro Piano or Amapiano had also expose the sound of Africa to the world from the likes of Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Daliwonga, Mellow & Sleazy, Prince Kaybee, Dj Tarico, De Mthuda, Young Stunna, Focalistic & Busiswa.