Afrobeat or Afrobeats?: Nigerian Superstar Davido Shares His Views on Popular Music Genre

BY Nii Ogbamey Tetteh December 5, 2023 12:24 PM EDT
Davido Photo source: Instagram/@davido

Afrobeats Megastar Davido has explained what he thinks is the real definition of the term Afrobeats. He contends that Afrobeats is not a genre of music but a term used to describe musicians of African origin.

According to the Fall hitmaker, a lot of African musicians produce other styles of music, but as long as the sound comes from an African musician, it is termed as Afrobeats.

The Unavailable composer stated his position when he was asked about the difference between Afrobeats and R&B in excerpts of a clip available online.

“I have songs that sound R&B. There are a lot of Nigerian artistes back home who do straight R&B. We have Johny Drille, Ckay, and Banky W…so we have African R&B.

Afrobeats, I feel like, is the term used to describe us African musicians. I don’t think it is the type or style of music we make. Pick a rapper in Nigeria like OdumukBlack, he is doing straight hip-hop but because he is African, we will call him an Afrobeats artiste.

Afrobeats is really the original sound, which originates from Fella Kuti back in the day. The United Kingdom (UK) was one of the first places to glorify our type of music so when they wanted to put us under a genre or describe our music, I think somebody said Afrobeat, and then from there we just kind of ran with it.

“I don’t think there is a difference in R&B or Afrobeats. Afrobeats is what is used to describe music made by an African artiste whether it is trap, R&B, Tekno, whatever; as long as an African musician is making it then it is categorized as Afrobeats,” he stated.

The 31-year-old’s comments follow an emerging debate about what exactly constitutes Afrobeats, as some artistes including South Africa’s Cassper Nyovest, have attempted to dissociate themselves from the genre.

Some artistes insist they should be called by the exact genre they produce, e.g., Hip-hop, highlife, and R&B, instead of the generic term Afrobeats.

Meanwhile, South African rapper Nasty C even sparked controversy recently when he argued that Afrobeats was better than hip-hop.