Business of Music

BBK’s Homecoming Nigeria is Deeper than Music

In early 2018, Apple Music’s Beats 1 radio presenter, Julie Adenuga visited Nigeria for Homecoming Weekend. The 3 day celebration started by Grace Ladoja(Skepta’s manager), Skepta, Greatness Dex, MBE and the rest of the Boy Better Know squad, is more than a weekend long party. It holds deep ties to creating a global link between Africa and the world, with Nigeria at the forefront.

Recorded for Apple Music’s Beats 1 in three parts, “Julie in Lagos” documents the presenter’s stay in her home country Nigeria and the importance of Homecoming.

Inspired by the idea of simply hearing afrobeats and afrobeats influenced songs on the radio, Homecoming has grown into the playground for creative connections for Nigeria and the rest of the world. The three day event including a concert, pop up shop and football match expands beyond music and connects all forms of the arts, including fashion.

For British born Nigerian rapper, Skepta, Homecoming was about building a sense of pride among Africans in the diaspora.

“I’ll never say Homecoming is just about a concert, because even though that’s what drives it,” The artist said in the documentary, “the music is so much bigger than that.”

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Skepta is not the only one who believes in building something beyond the now with Homecoming. Grace Ladoja and one of the founders of Homecoming, passionately talks about the importance if representation, especially for young people, which informed the decision to put new school artists on the bill for this year’s event.

This year’s event was the second of its kind, with Skepta, Not3s, J Hus, Davido, Tiwa Savage and Wizkid headlining. However, in the true spirit of creating something monumental, posterity was taken into account. Three new artists, Odunsi the Engine, Wavy the Creator and Santi hit the line up for artists on the show.

These three contribute to the bigger story of redefining what the Nigerian sound is. For Grace Ladoja, Homecoming shouldn’t just be about the music, it should be the stepping stone for young Nigerians to see beyond their borders. Who better to start that movement with than young creatives who refuse to be bottled into a specific genre or sound?

Fashion, being as pivotal as it is, not only in Nigeria but the world over, found its way to Home coming with a brilliant collaboration between popular international and local brands. International brands like Off White and Patta, teamed up with local brands Viivendi and WafflsNCream to deliver a one of a kind collection for the occasion. These designs merged a local touch  with international materials and popular Nigerian jersey culture to create a world class wearable art.

Home Coming marks the beginning of great things and Julie Adenuga’s documentary with Apple Music’s Beats 1 only proves that “Africa to the World” is no longer a movement we dream about, it’s a movement that is currently taking place.

“The young people are the ones who create the culture. The music’s always been the one driving it and it will continue to be a driving force. Now we just need to put some air in those tyres…”

– Irene Agbontaen.

PWC’s Global Entertainment and Media outlook 2017-2021 estimates that revenue from Nigeria’s music will hit US$73m by 2021.

The future is African music, and Africans such as Grace and her team are making sure they start the journey for African’s to control their own future.

Watch all three episodes of Julie in Lagos on Apple Music’s Beats 1:

Benewaah is the lead curator and editor at Harmattan Rain. Her love for music is closely rivaled by her love for plantain.

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