The UK’s underground music scenes and cultures are seeing more attention as days go by. In a new age where these sounds and styles are generating more acclaim throughout the industry, a myriad of musicians, tastemakers and key players within these genres are flying their respective flags and making their new inventions heard.
While afrobeats isn’t unfamiliar to British ears – the likes of Fuse ODG have been championing it since the late 2000s – a new generation of musicians, taking influences from grime, dancehall, rap and other underground sounds, are adding a new gloss and shine to the genre, taking it to the mainstream. Among this class of heavyweights such as Kojo Funds, Yxng Bane, Not3s and Lotto Boyzz is a man often seen as a pioneer among the new gen – Afro B.
A clever lyricist with upbeat tracks that will turn any dance on its head, the singer, rapper and producer has recently been the brains behind social media’s newest challenge: the ‘Drogba’ challenge, named after his recent single, in which fans dance the hardest they can to his bubbling track.
Outside of being an internet sensation, Afro B has garnered respect for his confident and well-rounded approach to afrobeats, and he has certified bangers in ‘Pull Up’ and the Yxng Bane-assisted ‘Juice and Power’. A true student of this new phase in the genre, the Ivorian is the authority on all things afrobeats, and his list below of some of this new generation’s best, both in the UK and throughout Africa, showcase how indebted he is to the genre.
B Young – Jumanji
Afro B: "If the instrumental has a sweet guitar melody, I’m automatically glued to the song. The guitar drew me in and of course the catchy lyrics and melodies from B Young complete the track."
Team Salut – Wagon (ft Naira Marley)
"I like Naira’s unique style of rapping, there’s no one in the UK that sounds like him. Combined with a Team Salut instrumental, this is a good recipe for the ears. There’s a catchy chorus too that I always find myself singing randomly."
Afro B – Pull Up
"Clearly I’m biased here but for me the instrumental, flow and melodies combine well. I wanted to give the listener different flavours for their eardrums. There's definitely a good vibe to the song, it's so good that the serious topic may go over the listener's head."
Lotto Boyzz – Unfinished Business
"My favourite song from their Afrobbean EP. The piano in the instrumental really compliments the mood of the song as well as the vocals of the artists."
French Montana – Unforgettable (ft. Swae Lee)
"French went left with his usual sound and took it back to the motherland with a US twist. It works! Undeniable banger!"
Tekno – Yawa
"Simplistic but effective flow and melodies on a spacious and catchy instrumental. Tekno is the man in Nigeria. This song shows why."
Kojo Funds – My Wish (ft Kranium)
"GA smashed it with the instrumental. The subtle and sweet sounds instantly draws the listener from the drop. Kojo Funds comes correct and Kranium tops it off with the catchy hook."
P Montana – Plantain and Dumplin (ft Lotto Boyzz)
"My personal favourite song off his Rah Boy project. The sweet instrumental, lyrics and melodies gel together well. Definitely an anthem for the ladies."
Headie One X Colo – 90 On The M
"This makes you want to go to Ghana and learn the languages. Colo really did well on the chorus, mixing his native language with English on this cool instrumental. Headie One brings the wave in the verses."
Afro B – Juice and Power (ft Yxng Bane)
"This song makes me feel good about myself and elevates me in life. I sing the chorus into existence – 'I got the juice and power' – and party goers have been singing this with a passion. Big shouts to producer N2theA who hit the nail on the head with the instrumental."
Check out Afro B's latest single, 'Drogba (Joanna), below.
Listen to Dummy's curated playlists on Spotify.