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  • Writer's pictureShania Edwards

Afrobeats- Its growing popularity in Jamaica

Updated: Nov 15, 2021

Music speaks to the soul and puts you in a trance where your mind and body feel free. It gives you a moment to mentally and emotionally break free from reality and brightens the gloomiest day. Afrobeats, new to most but has been steadily growing in popularity in Jamaica and the Caribbean. According to Ciku Kimeria, the editor of Quartz Africa, 'Afrobeats is highly percussive, and sometimes there is autotune, but it's about dancin... It's about joie de vivre/ exuberant enjoyment of life.'

The exciting sounds from the TR-808 drum machine curate the upbeat convention of Afrobeats, seemingly, aligns with the movement and dance of African ancestral culture.

Burna Boy, Afro B Davido and Mr Easy in recent years have had great success in gaining play on Jamaican radio and sound system.

Song include Ye, Burna Boy, Drogba (Joanna) Afro B and Fall By Davido are as popular as the latest one beat or trap dancehall songs

Reggae and dancehall are anchored in the veins of Jamaican and the relics of time. Afrobeats production, according to Rodigan, is influenced by reggae and dancehall; Nigerians are making music in the heartland of Africa, reflective of dancehall's essence in Jamaica in the 1990s.

Dancehall's importation into the motherland has significantly impacted afrobeats itself- artists attempted to speak in an authentic Jamaican accent. In reverse, afrobeats made waves from the homeland, influencing Jamaican artists' sounds such as Vybz Kartel, Damian "Jr Gong" Marley, Popcaan and Jada Kingdom. It's a process that ethnomusicologist Dr Dennis Howard calls the Creative Echo Chamber.

Songs like: Risky by Davido ft Popcaan, Blessed by Wizkid ft Damian Marley and One Time by Jada Kingdom ft. Davido and Go Dance Afro B Featuring Busy Signal

These are the explicit connections that are made between afrobeats, dancehall and reggae; therefore, attracting the audiences and fan bases of the respective artists, depositing their talent in the minds and souls of listeners.

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