Music in the contemporary times is evolving with some genres fading while others are gaining massive traction and endorsements.
In the African context, the sound of the moment is revolving around two domineering genres, that is, around Afrobeats and Amapiano.
This is not to say that these are the alpha and omega of music genres.
It is undisputable to say that these genres have made invaluable impact, muted other sounds and artists, they have also set tongues wagging in world over, including in USA which serves as the headquarters of music and entertainment
To musicians and recording artists, coping up with trends is one of the best tactics for survival in an industry that is fluid, congested, competitive and difficult to stay afloat, especially as a musician for a long time.
At the same time, its not a must for artists to abandon their current genres in order to match up with the trending sound because roots matters in music, a fan base has to be cemented by consistency and loyalty to the genre whilst an artist must eventually know his standpoint.
Nevertheless, it is vital for the sake of career growth to fuse with current trends or to even experiment by trying other overriding and relevant genres.
This is because music is not static, it moves and cope up with time, so is the artist. Failure to move with time is tantamount to committing career suicide.
- The Zimdancehall culture of riddims and medleys is less mpactful these days – the culture served its purpose, it raised stars, generated income for the ghetto youths cum artists.
However, the medleys and riddim culture became monotonous and in the process it was plagued by the bereft of creativity in the dominant genre.
The art became too obvious which is a DONT in music, inspired plagiarism, we all know how most of these producers stole riddims from Jamaican and other producers, the concept and scenes of Medleys were similar, which was as a result of the crisis of creativity.
As such for survival, some artists are now making customised sound with dancehall roots, for instance, the likes of Killer T, Freeman, Jah Signal, Nutty O, Poptain, Winky D, etc.
Their music is a concoction of dancehall and electric, piano, afrobeats, pop sound in some cases.
- The Jamaican music is on a recession, most artists have since abandoned the hard-core dancehall sound, the likes of Vybz Kartel, Alkaline, Movado and Popcan has totally evolved in tandem with the trending sound.
Even the new crop of artists in JA, the likes of Skillibeng, Masicka, Valiant Jashri are on a new path, the sound is totally unique from that was made by their predecessors. A number of Jamaican artists have also been riding on the wave of Afropop, the likes of Popcaan, Vybz Kartel, Kranium and Chronixx have all done big collaborations with Afrobeats super stars.
- Western world co-signing Afrobeats – a number of Western based artists have been endorsing Afrobeats which attest to the fact that they cannot ignore the impact that this sound has been making.
A number of American stars that include Future, Dj Khaled, Chris Brown, Beyonce, have collaborated with Afrobeats stars, like Tems, Wizkid, Shata Wale, among others.
A number of US music icons have also jumped on various Afrobeats remixes in order to keep up with the trends.
Even the Afrobeats song of the moment People perfomed by Libianca was endorsed in masse by many Western based artists.
The same with Amapiano, the American and European stars have also been coming on board collaborating with Amapiano hitmakers.
- Afrobeats and Amapiano nexus – even the dominant Afrobeats genre has been feeling the heat of the Amapiano sound, which is hailing from South Africa.
As such, Afrobeats artists producers and artists have been fusing Afrobeats and Amapiano with class and finesse making a complete sound.
The song of the moment, Unavailable of Davido ft Musa Keys is a synthesis of these two two sounds, other global hits that include Joe Boy’s Alcohol proved that merging these two genres can do more good than harm to African music.
Food for thought
Artists must take cognisance that fans are quick to move on and finally forget. Sometimes tapping into other sounds is one way of remaining impactful in order to stay relevant.