How afrobeat has grown into one of the most popular genres of music in the Netherlands

AP

NOS News

  • Suhaila Hallouchi

    Online editor

  • Suhaila Hallouchi

    Online editor

Burna Boy will be at Gelredome next summer. He was announced as the first African artist to make headlines at a stadium in the Netherlands. It’s no surprise when you realize that Afropetites, a species that originated from West Africa, have been loved by young adults for quite some time now. The fusion of West African pop and influences from hip hop, house and R&B is very popular.

Partly due to collaborations with major Western artists such as Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran, the genre has become more popular lately. In the Netherlands, a particularly young audience discovered the genre.

The afro sound is getting more and more popular

The popularity of afrobeat is also due to the influence of major pop and hip hop artists in the Netherlands. Frenna, one of the most popular artists, has roots in Ghana, and the rap group SFB of which he is a member, among others, have had the afro sound in their songs for years. You can also hear it from other artists who are listened to a lot here, especially by young people, like Drake.

You will notice that this genre is popular on streaming platforms and TikTok, where the song is I love my time by Nigerian artist Ckay has been streamed over 15 billion times, but also in concerts and festivals.

Last Last by Burna Boy, last summer’s big hit:

Other Nigerian singers, who regularly score international hits, such as Wizkid and Rima, also performed in the Netherlands last year. In De Kuip, she and Ckay performed at Europe’s largest urban festival, Oh My.

Ckay previously told NOS: “It’s nice to be part of a culture that’s also now getting more attention around the world. It doesn’t happen often that something that belongs to a particular culture becomes popular around the world. So that sounds pretty cool.”

Oh My’s Dutch audience also recognized Ckay’s sentiment: “The music connects you to the culture and everyone who comes,” a visitor told NOS. At the festival, young people from different backgrounds seemed to enjoy the performances: “All kinds of cultures listen to it and I think that’s just good, the rhythm makes everyone move automatically.” a Another boy explained how the music reminds him of his childhood: “I grew up with that sound.”

musical contract

Dutch radio stations have also discovered the genre, which means that its popularity goes beyond just young people. The fact that Burna Boy will soon be at the Gelredome doesn’t surprise Fernando Hallmann, radio DJ at FunX: “It’s impossible not to love Burna Boy. His catchy melodies yesAnd At the bottom And the last the last It will instantly take you in and put you in a musical setting. He rose to prominence more internationally when he also received a Grammy in 2021 for his fifth studio album.”

Any new subculture in music that will have a chance of success has to come from the youth.

Niels Neuborg, producer under the name Arp Frique

Niels Neuborg, who produces music under his pseudonym Arp Frique, draws inspiration from this genre, among others. Arp Frique is also ahead Africa. “

Nieuborg also notes that African music is growing in popularity: “But not only afrobeats, but also amappiano (a house genre, ed.) are growing in popularity here.” This, he explains, is also due to club culture: “It’s used as club music, among other things, so it can go viral very quickly.”

But whether listeners immediately think of African roots when they hear the music, Newborg doubts: “Not everyone realizes it comes from West Africa. You’re in the club and you hear the sounds of afropetto and amappiano, and it sounds fine, but where is that? It doesn’t matter to everyone.” “.

Development begins with youth

Newborg says young people are at the forefront of developments in music. He also predicts that afrobeats will come from a youth movement, become popular in that group and then conquer the whole of Holland.

Newburgh: “It has always been the case. Every new subculture in music – if it is to succeed – has to come from the youth. If you go back in time, jazz was also a thing – a kind of wild, barbaric music that characterized classical music for” The developed listener.

Calm down for Nigerian artist Reema, who achieved global success last summer, also in the Netherlands:

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