Music in Nigeria has grown steadily over the years. Since the days of the legendary Afrobeat and highlife singer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Nigerian music has gained a considerable amount of significance in the global space.
After the dominance of Fela and the other African stars in the 80s, music in Nigeria took a downward spin as political tensions caused fear, clipping the progress of the industry.
Fast-forward to 2001, 2Baba’s African Queen steered a significant interest from the West in African songs with an increasingly commercial value being attached to them. West African neighbors, Ghana, Cote D’ Ivoire, Benin, and Liberia caught the bug afterwards. With modern technology, music has become a global game with the strongest dominating.
Nigeria, till date, is leading the pack in Africa with Afrobeats stars, Davido, Wizkid and Tiwa Savage garnering commercial success across the globe and airplay amongst the world’s elite media platforms.
American stars Jay Z, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, Ciara and P. Diddy among others have formed an interesting habit of either singing along or dancing to these songs whenever they are played.
We take you through the few musical moments that have excited everyone especially Nigerians.
American singer Omarion is considered one of the few artists from the US who has shown genuine love for African music. After staging concerts across Africa and his latest being in Namibia alongside local stars, Freeda, Tate Buti, Swart Baster, Young T, TKB and Maranatha, Omarion has featured Diamond Platnumz and Tiwa Savage on some major projects.
American singer, Omarion sings to Davido’s hit song – IFv
Who would have thought Kanye West will be so in sync with anything African? Clearly feeling the flow of the song. American rapper Kanye West can spot good music when he hears them. Building from scratch a studio in Uganda for an upcoming project, Kanye West has proven he is a vocal supporter of music from Africa.
American rapper, Kanye West dancing to Mystro x Wizkid’s – Immediately
Multiple Grammy award-winning couple, Alicia Keys and her husband Kasseem Dean, popularly known as Swizz Beatz, took to Instagram to share the album cover of Wizkid’s 2014 album, Ayo (Joy) with the hashtag #vibes, mentioning the Instagram page of Wizkidayo. The most hilarious moment was Alicia’s dance video where she moved in delight to the rhythm of Wizkid’s Ojuelegba song. Alicia uploaded the post on her Instagram page and tagged it “the song makes me happy #goodvibes @wizkidayo”.
Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz jamming to Wizkid’s Ojuelegba
Afrobeat Star, Davido, shared his excitement on Twitter after legendary American producer, Busta Rhymes, is caught on camera dancing to his hit song, IF.
Controversial R&B singer Chris Brown has recently been in the news for almost all the wrong reasons apart from his recent 32 track album. Known to be a good friend to Nigerian star, Wizkid, Chris Brown’s love for Afrobeats and Nigerian songs is next to none.
Clearly excited about what he hears, Chris Brown shows how to dance to good music.
Old but Gold. Who would have thought that even in death, Fela Kuti’s songs will still command the level of respect as it does now? In the video above is American broadcaster and rapper, Joe Budden, dancing to Fear Not For Man by Fela Kuti with rapper and business Tycoon, Diddy, after closing a REVOLT deal of $5 million.
Released in 2014 off Wzkid’s Ayo album, Ojuelegba was produced by the record producing duo Legendary Beatz. The song shares its title with the metropolitan subsection of Lagos Mainland. It highlights Wizkid’s struggles as an underground artist who roamed the streets of Ojuelegba to support his recording interest. The song received numerous airplay on all major radio stations in Nigeria and peaked at number 1 on Capital Xtra‘s Afrobeats Chart for February 2015.
Meek mill, Puff Daddy, Usher and many more dance to Ojuelegba
On his 48th birthday late last year, P. Diddy shared a video on Instagram of him and rapper French Montana dancing to Fela’s song, Let’s Start (or Jeke Bere), with the caption, “Today is my birthday and I’m feeling cute!! #BrotherLove #BlackExellence #LetsDance”.
Fela has carved a niche for being a man of the moment. In the video below, American singer Beyonce plays Fela Kuti’s music at her star-studded baby shower.