Words by Leanne Fairweather and Jesse Serwer
Illustration by Ken Nwadiogbu
Africa is definitely the future. The continent is producing some of the best, most creative music worldwide right now, much of it under the banner of the burgeoning genre of Afrobeats. Until recently, Afrobeats was largely an African secret, but with recent developments like Drake remixing Wizkid and Davido signing to Sony Music, the new sound of Africa is beginning to filter through the broader music world.
One thing we’ve noticed about Afrobeats is how much it shares in common with today’s Caribbean music. This, of course, makes perfect sense considering the African roots of just about all Caribbean sounds, but with many of today’s African artists taking inspiration from reggae, dancehall and even soca, and Caribbean artists like Busy Signal and Machel Montano doing the reverse, the music of the two regions is blending in new ways, with reverberations heard back and forth across the Atlantic. It’s a cross-cultural exchange we recently highlighted on Afro Soca, the first installment of our new monthly mix series.
As much as we ride for Caribbean music, some of our favorite music right now is coming from Africa, from the Ghanaian dancehall of Stonebwoy B to the Naija pop coming from producers Legendury Beatz.