The Nigerian music industry has a mix of various genres and over time there has been a creation of hybrid sounds with artists creating a fusion of African and foreign inspired sound. This has led to artists labeling their genres with the “Afro” tag to indicate the mixed nature of their sound. Therefore we hear words like Afro-Hip Hop, Afro-Soul, e.t.c.
However, a crop of Nigerian pop artists now refer to their work as “Afrobeats”, a name which apparently does not seat well with Musician Ade Bantu who feels it’s an insult to Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. In a recent chat with Farabale Weekly he made his distaste clear when he said “I have a problem with the fact that Nigerian pop music is being referred to as Afrobeats with an S.”
Afrobeat was a musical genre created by Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in the 70s. It’s a blend of African rythms, Jazz and American Funk, which is a far cry from the modern Nigerian pop sound.
In the video above, from 02:19 to 3:00 minutes, Ade Bantu went on to say:
“It’s a disrespect to Fela Kuti and to the philosophy of Afrobeat.”
He advised Nigerian pop singers to refer to their genre as ‘Nigerian pop’ or ‘Naija pop’ as naming it Afrobeats takes away the politics and philosophy of the originator of the genre.