The new agenda of protecting and fostering the growth of afrobeat, which has been unpopularly considered as the new sound of music, is an agenda that comes after a long time of an underrated status that has hovered over that genre of music.
By the new sound of music, we are referring to afrobeat as the future of global music; a genre that has the potential of maintaining a global status as a dominant music export. The recent growth and development of afrobeat show it has all it takes to fill in this spot as the next sound of music, judging from how much patronage it has continued to enjoy over time, which keeps geometrically.
With various artistes already achieving global recognition using afrobeat, like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Sarkodie, Yemi Alade, and with the recent feature of this genre in the Black Is King album by Beyonce, shows that the time has indeed come for protecting and fostering the continued growth of the new sound of music.
Protecting afrobeat entails that certain steps have to be taken to ensure that while we also carry out the necessary steps to foster its growth, ensuring that it stands the test of time and truly achieves the global position it ought to have is a direct duty which anyone in the necessary position to make it happen must leave no stone unturned to see it through.
To effectively protect and foster the growth of afrobeat; to ensure that the new sound of music stands the test of time, the following steps have been carefully devised to see this happen:
Creating Charts for Afrobeat
In every charting organization, there are various genres of music represented by their respective charts. There are charts for gospel songs, hip-hop, RnB, Pop, Kpop, Reggae, and so on. These charts make it possible to monitor the growth of the music genre, as well as that of the respective artistes. This should also be extended to Afrobeats; the genre should have its own chart represented in the various reputable charts out there to help foster its growth, as to serve as a constant reminder of its place among the leading genres globally. This will put it on track to quickly dominate other genres of music.
Alteration takes way the core substance of afrobeat and leaves it with nothing less than a shadow of itself. Over the years, we have seen various genres of music experience a large scale of alteration dubbed ‘experimenting’. This involves taking away the core substance of the genre and replacing it with something completely foreign. This has nothing to do with the evolution of the sound, it completely takes away the vibe that comes with the sound, replacing it with nothing short of a temporary vibe that upon its dissipation, it is either replaced by another type of ‘sound experimenting’ which would birth another temporary vibe and since the core substance has been ultimately tagged ‘old school’ and outdated, the genre may experience massive unfollowing leading to its painful exit.
Creating Global Recognition
Reputable global music and motion picture award organizations should try to infuse categories for afrobeat in their various award and recognition ceremonies. When Nigerian Afrobeat star lost the award for Best World Music Album Grammy Music Award, critics raised a lot of concern on the need to create a category which will represent afrobeat as a genre, and not what it has practiced over the years by infusing the genre, alongside other genres of music that do not fit into any other category, into the ‘World Music’ category. Afrobeat does not have to fit in, it deserves its own category. Motion picture companies should also sample afrobeat songs in their works to make it easier for th=e genre to win awards on soundtracks for motion pictures, and get to the general audience that views the motion pictures.
Afrobeat is the new sound of music, and protecting is the only way we can ensure it truly becomes the global music export.