A Brief Introduction to Afrobeat Music
In an age of globalization, we have access to genres of music from all around the world that would not have been so easily accessible to us even a generation ago. One fantastic genre to explore is afrobeat music, a hybrid musical style that combines African sounds with Black American musical influences. The most iconic artist known for creating this genre is Fela Kuti. He was a Nigerian musician who, with his band Africa 70, defined this new genre by mixing African rhythms with American jazz, soul, and funk elements.
History of Afrobeat
Afrobeat began in the early part of the twentieth century and evolved throughout the next several decades, giving rise to several other genres of music based on African rhythms. A large part of afrobeat’s development was spurred by Africa 70 and their incorporation of various outside musical influences they encountered while on tour in the United States and the United Kingdom.
There are a few key musical characteristics that make afrobeat music stand out. One of them is big band-style ensembles similar to large funk groups in the US. They frequently include very large rhythm and brass sections. Additionally, afrobeat music includes very politically charged lyrics that provide commentary on issues related to societies and policies in Africa and worldwide. Finally, most afrobeat songs have lyrics in West African languages.
Check Out Afrobeat
It’s time to go on an auditory adventure and explore some afrobeat music for yourself. Starting with Fela Kuti’s music is an excellent way to begin. Once you’ve listened to his music, you can also branch out into the music of other notable afrobeat artists, including Femi Kuti and Tony Allen. Take a look and see how you feel about this iconic African musical genre.