Nigerian Artists Grace the Cover of Billboard’s First Issue Devoted to Africa
Photo Credit: Roger Kisby/Getty Images
African artists are quickly taking over in the music industry and setting trends while doing so.
For the first time in Billboard Magazine’s history, three Nigerian music artists grace the cover of the first issue ever devoted to the entire continent of Africa.
"This isn't a fad": Three of Africa's biggest stars on making the industry come to them.
— billboard (@billboard) May 21, 2020
Nigerian artists Davido, Tiwa Savage, and Mr Eazi are the subject of Billboard’s latest cover story, “Africa Now,” titled “This Isn’t a Fad: Three of Africa’s Biggest Stars on Making the Industry Come to Them,” that states “the next musical revolution is brewing in Africa.”
According to Okay Africa, Gail Mitchell — writer of the story — included interviews from each artist, which were conducted on a video conference call.
The featured story detailed topics tackled by each artist including life under quarantine — where Davido mentions his fiancée recovering from coronavirus — how much they’re now making as artists, the differences between major labels and independent routes, “afrobeats” as a music genre, and how the music industry’s contributions have made investments in Africa.
“The feeling you get from Afrobeats and African music is just different. People have always loved African music, but we didn’t have the avenues to go worldwide,” Davido told Billboard.
According to The Root, the feature story also addresses how streaming has gained popularity and the sounds and visibility of African artists and producers have similarly increased as of recently. Much of this success stems from popular tracks like Drake’s “One Dance” (which features Nigeria’s WizKid), and albums like the Beyoncé-curated “The Lion King: The Gift.”
The sudden success of Africa is surprising to some, but according to these three artists, people are simply not educated about Africa enough to understand the changing landscape.
“The only way to understand is to come and see for yourself. When most people come down here, they’re both surprised and disappointed because for their whole lives they’ve had a different idea of what it’s like,” said Davido.
Mr. Eazi also shared his thoughts on people’s miseducation of Africa.
“The misperception I always run into is one of general ignorance: people classifying all music coming out of Africa as Afrobeats,” Mr Eazi said.
Fans all over social media were pleased to see these three stars dominate the covers of a major publication. As African artists continue to pave the way for more to break down doors for others, a revolution across many sectors of music and entertainment is expected to be seen worldwide.
“People just need to get on the train. This isn’t a fad,” said Tiwa Savage. “With 1.2 billion people, we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. We’re here to stay.”