The Era of Afro Beats Dominance began with the trio: Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy. It wasn’t immediately they stepped into the scene that they started getting the respect they deserved. They had to work for it.
Wizkid had some popularity in Lagos even before he signed to Banky W’s EME. A star was born but he would initiate the Nigerian spirit in him to become a global superstar. Davido was more of an instant star. Apart from his connects in the US with Nigerian artists who spent time with him whenever they visited the States, the first time Nigerians would really get to know him was probably his first single “Back When” ft. Naeto C. No one had risen to such prominence with their first song. His next single “Dami Duro” made him a certified star.
Burna Boy’s rise to superstardom was probably the slowest. His single “Like to Party” was as good as his breakthrough songs but somehow the industry was sleeping on his songs. He would later go on to drop hits like “Abeg Abeg” and “Run My Race” but he still had to wait for some time to become the African Giant.
With their quality and revamped Fele sounds, international success was inevitable. This era saw a shift in Nigerian artists featuring foreign artists to foreign artists featuring Nigerian artists. Afro Beats had become the new pop. Burna Boy won a Grammy, Wizkid too. Davido was on the FIFA World Cup theme song.
Just like the “2face, P-Square and D’banj” era, other artists have made the most of the Afro Beats Dominance. Ckay, Rema, Fireboy, Tems, Omah Lay, Adekunle Gold, Ayra Starr and even older artists like Olamide, Tiwa Savage and M.I are still pushing out quality materials to make sure Afro Beats remain the centre of Pop Culture.
It’s ironic that the Classic Age of Afro Beats is not the Golden Age.
Nevertheless, we are grateful the Nigerian Spirit in Afro Beats has put us on the map.