Digging for Gold is HYPEBEAST’s monthly playlist series that highlights regions across the world and the genres that come out of them. By putting together a mix of essentials and hidden gems, we hope to add to how you discover music and to deliver the thrill of finding new tracks.
As the summer rolls in, we’re focusing on the soundtrack of the season with Nigerian Afrobeats. Not to be confused with the “Afrobeat” genre that was pioneered by the legend Fela Kuti in the 60s and 70s, this style of music embodies distinct sounds coming out of West Africa which typically span from dancehall, to highlife, hip-hop, Jùjú, pop and R&B influences.
Over time, Nigeria has proven to be one of the most exciting places for the Afrobeats genre. More often than not, titans like Burna Boy, Davido, Fireboy DML, Mr Eazi, Tiwa Savage and WizKid have dominated the local and international sphere. However, not to be missed are rising artists such as Ajebutter22, Cruel Santino, Lojay, Odunsi (The Engine) and Tems who have worked hard to gain heavy airplay. Equally important are producers such as Juls, Kel P, LegenduryBeatz, Le Mav, melvitto, and Sarz who are often unsung heroes in the game.
At its core, Nigerian Afrobeats is more than just a genre. It’s a pan-African connection to a global audience as it unites local fans, diasporic communities abroad and those who have a growing appreciation for it. With Afrobeats continuing to take on the rest of the world, its burgeoning influence should not be overlooked as the next generation of artists continue to take the charts by storm.
That being said, check out these energetic Naija beats below.