The days of P-Square’s “Chop My Money” featuring Akon; Wizkid’s “Ojuelegba Remix” with Drake, 2Baba’s “Rainbow” with T-Pain, etc, are days that seem quite similar to nowadays. Not just because they were days entrenched in an era of a new music revolution that propped the eminence of Nigerian stars, but also because they culminated into a significant period in the Nigerian music industry that properly heralded the initiation of popular foreign acts into the excellence of Afrobeats.
Just like those days, current times in the music industry delineates the traversing of Afrobeats on the musical map of the world. And that’s the beauty of Afrobeats — not only does it effortlessly enfold you in arms heavy with energetic vibes, it bows to every chance of evolution. However, just as similar to those days that nowadays may seem, they couldn’t be more opposing. The passage of that era introduced the near-snuffing of the excitement about a collab between Nigerian artists and those from across the ocean, mostly from the United States Hip-Hop community.
The current global success of Afrobeats is so wide that there are very few sounds now that can completely upstage it. The diversity of Afrobeats — as observed in its interesting variations including the gentle rumble of its eclectic mix, its syncopated riddims, etc — gently deposits it in a hotbox of tender, loving care from far and wide. From Beyonce’s Lion King album, Black is King, which featured six Nigerian music stars: Wizkid, Burna Boy, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Mr Eazi and Tekno to Fireboy DML’s Peru that quickly intrigued Ed Sheeran to Tems’ part in Future’s hit song “Wait for u” off his I Never Liked You album, and the host of songs featuring a mix of foreign and African artists, international collaborations are already being commonised into a habitual pattern.
Moreover, the ingenuity of African artists keeps bucking the trend. African acts have exhibited exceptional creative abilities and originality and conquered huge stages around the world, building on their strength of the African music market. Thus, foreign acts have been afflicted with the frenzied need to tap into this trend. The desire to work with African artists is stretched towards the exigencies of relevance. These artists are looking to be exposed to the large fanbase of top African stars, to tap into their audience for a full maximisation of their artistic reach. Business Day expresses that: “According to Statista, revenue from music streaming in Africa is expected to reach $493 million by 2025. International artists will want to benefit financially from the Afrobeats zeitgeist, so they feature African artists to boost digital sales.” Notwithstanding, global collaborations take on symbiotic benefits as it opens doors for wider recognition which has invited global music award nominations and wins for African artists.