Exploring the Evolution of Contemporary Nigerian Musical Genres And Their Impact On The World of Music

BY Dora Dzaka October 12, 2023 7:14 PM EDT
Photo Source: , @burnaboygram, @temsbaby

In countless ceremonies throughout Nigeria’s history, which dates back to the earliest eras of human civilization, traditional folk and tribal music have played significant roles.

These sources of inspiration laid the groundwork for the music culture evolution over time, which included the fusion of several genres like hip-hop, R&B, reggae, jazz, and Afrobeats.

The 1970s and 1980s saw a rise in the amount of foreign influence used in musical composition, giving the sound of music an unparalleled tone. Nigerian music has recently emerged as one of Africa’s most well-known and influential genres, featuring prominent artistes like Rema, Asake, Wizkid, Davido, Tems, and Burna Boy.

This article will take you on a musical tour throughout Nigeria while highlighting the West African nation’s creativity and examining the acoustic revolution in the country’s modern musical genres.

How Nigerian music has changed over the years

Nigerian music is still evolving, mixing many genres to create something intriguing and novel. Contemporary Nigerian musicians are experimenting with a larger spectrum of musical styles than ever before, giving Nigerian music a greater variety than previously, despite the fact that there is still a sizable traditional influence.

From Afrobeats to hip-hop and R&B, Nigerian music has changed significantly over the years and is currently among the most popular and influential genres in the world.

Nigerian musicians have experimented with incorporating Western instruments and influences into their music since its fundamental folk origins over the years, giving rise to the 1960s invention of the Afrobeat genre.

This trend was accelerated in the 1970s by musicians like Fela Kuti, who started including social and political criticism in his music, giving rise to a unique subgenre of Afrofunk.

In the 1980s, Nigerian artistes began experimenting with more electronic sounds and incorporating other well-liked genres, including hip hop, highlife, and R&B. As a result, the sound of Nigerian music expanded and took on a more diverse feel, spawning a unique hybrid genre that has since become well-known around the globe.

In Nigeria, the trending genre known as Afrobeats, which combines traditional African rhythms with modern sounds, is very well-liked. It has been well received by both domestic and foreign audiences and has contributed to taking Nigerian music to the global stage.

Another well-liked musical style in Nigeria that has been prevalent since the 1980s is hip-hop. Over time, it changed and included elements of other genres like soul, funk, and rap. Phyno, Olamide, and Naija Boyz are a few well-known hip-hop artistes from Nigeria.

Another well-liked type of Nigerian music that combines elements of Caribbean and traditional African music is reggae. Jamaica, where reggae first gained popularity in the 1960s, is where the genre’s origins may be found. With performers like Bob Marley and Burning Spear being well-liked by Nigerian fans, it has grown to be a significant aspect of the country’s musical landscape.

How has Nigerian music impacted global culture?

Nigerian music has made a huge impact on global culture over the years. The diversity of Nigerian music’s styles, which have impacted other musical genres all around the world. These musical genres include Afrobeats, Highlife, and Juju.

In addition to having a unique sound, Nigerian music is impacted by a vibrant cultural history that has shaped both its composition and performance. Mainstream Western culture has also been influenced by Nigerian music. Many well-known musicians have incorporated elements of Nigerian music into their own sounds in order to produce a distinctive sound that combines to bring out the ‘best of both nations’.