African Popular Music

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African popular music, like African traditional music, is vast and varied. Many genres of popular music like blues, jazz, salsa, zouk, and rumba derive to varying degrees from from African musical traditions. These rhythms and sounds have subsequently been adapted by newer genres like rock, and rhythm and blues

AFROBEAT is a combination of traditional jazz,music highlife, funk, and chanted vocals, fused with percussion and vocal styles, popularised in Africa in the 1970s. It was named by Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Fela Kuti, who is responsible for the creation of the style and spreading the genre outside of Ghana. Fela used it to revolutionize musical structure as well as the political context in his native Nigeria.  Afrobeat features chants, call-and-response vocals, and complex, interacting rhythms. The new sound hailed from a club that he established called the Afrika Shrine. Upon arriving in Nigeria, Kuti also changed the name of his group to Africa ’70. The band maintained a five-year residency in the Afrika Shrine from 1970 to 1975 while afrobeat thrived among Nigerian youth. Afrobeat is now one of the most recognizable music genres in the world and has influenced as many Western musicians as it has African ones with its exuberant style and polyrhythms.

ANTONIO VULLO ©

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