Over the past couple of years, Afrobeats has steadily grown and solidified its place as a worldwide appreciated sound. Fela Kuti, one of the genre’s founding fathers, created the term “Afrobeat.”
Fela, a Nigerian bandleader, and multi-talented instrumentalist contributed greatly towards pushing the genre beyond Africa’s borders. However, Afrobeats started in Ghana around the early 1920s. During that period, Ghanaian musicians fused foreign sounds like the calypso with Ghanaian rhythms like Fante.
With people of African descent scattered all over the world, it was easy for Afrobeat to spread and garner a dedicated fan base. Fela Kuti, Yinka Davies, Amakye Dede, Manu Dibango, Sonny Okosun, Sir Shina Peters, King Sunny Ade, and Lagbaja are some of the notable fathers of the Afrobeat Genre.
However, it is important to note that while Afrobeat and Afrobeats are similar, there is a difference. One could say Afrobeat is the father, while Afrobeats is the son. They share a lot of similarities in terms of sound, but they still have their differences. Afrobeat is more of a traditional African sound with socio-political undercurrents whereas Afrobeats is more dance-floor driven with little or no deep message.
Some critics have said that Afrobeats and Afrobeat are completely different. They have based this utter difference in the content of both. As stated before, Afrobeat is said to be more politically charged while Afrobeats is more of dance tunes. However, artistes in the Afrobeats genre are continuously blurring the lines. These musicians are fusing both sides of the genre into one without skipping a beat.
In the 21st century, we have seen so many stars rise from the path the Afrobeat fathers opened up.
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