Some Call This The New Age.
There’s been a growth in the new era of Africa. Across all platforms, the exposure the Internet has brought to the youth has given a new light on a lot of prehistoric forms of creativity. We’ve taken different ideas and fused them with our own perspectives, voice and consciousness.
The tools accessible to the generation Z of Africa combined with the Internet also gives them both a platform and medium to create at any moment, with the access to share it, not only to Africa, but to the world.
I’m here to talk about the music, the new f*cking music our generation across Africa has been blessed with.
Before I start, I’d like to go back, back in time to the growth and first glimpse of hope for Africa, Nigeria in particular, after the success of D’banj and Wizkid.
Wizkid, was to me, the first breath of life we had growing up. He opened a new form of expressing conventional afrobeats. As he grew, other African acts came out of the past and forged their old school style with the present.
Thinking of the growth and exposure these acts had, bridging the gap with Africa and other continents, these guys gave a platform to the new school talent. Not with their sound, but with the confidence, the freedom, and the new dimension of creativity they infused in their music.
Now, the new age is here and we’re ready to take form of what African music can really be. Our generation Z has soaked in sounds from all over the continent, with ease to mediums like Spotify, Apple Music, and most of all Soundcloud. With access from their cellphones, the new age has been exposed to music acts, genres, sounds from all over the world . You can find them plugged in listening to a new tune, a new hit, or a new trap record in the voice of Future, or Kendrick Lamar and his constant history lessons on African American life and soul.
We have listened, and listened and found a way to pave our own voice, to curate our own message, to find out own sound.
We took it all and started to make music. Tools like Logic and Fruity Loops came mainstream to every young heart in the generation Z. We wanted to be our own J. Cole, John Legend, Kanye West. Fusing them with the African sounds given to us through afrobeats, we created our own.
The new music had more life. It had more content. It had more creative freedom as the minds didn’t feel constrained to be “Afro” alone. They wanted to be themselves, to explore their minds, to fuel their spirits with a groove and consciousness of their own.
They could also share their songs online and get instant feedback creating their own cults like the ones they themselves were of. This gave them more confidence to keep on gathering the plays on various platforms.
With the influence of creativity booming all over Africa in different mediums, it pushed the music to grow, but also be constructed in more profound details. The artworks became better, the production become more intricate and unpredictable, the entire body of work had more direction.
There’s so much going on and it’s not mainstream yet. They tag themselves with references like “New Age Music” or “Soundcloud Kids.” The dynamics of what they represent is only found in their dreams, the ambitions they tell in their songs, and the vibes they feel exposed to.
Another influences of the new pop culture of New Age African music which I feel no one ever talks about will be “Shows”.
With the growth of show production in Africa generally, the new music has more room to breath now. Different music shows curated by the same young voices as stages to hear the kind of music their friends are creating, to relax and party to what they want to listen to and not what the radio or other mediums term as their sound. These shows have created a great escape for the sound of the new age, like Faderfort. They are great stages for these new acts to soak in their cult followerships, and create a brand on their music, fame and success, exposing them as art forms themselves..
The balance between what the New Age music sounds like, the different spectrums it covers, from afro to infused sounds, to organically crafted ones with content or just a general message of good vibes for the new age, like Odunsi‘s hit summer jam says, it’s a happy hour in general for the African music scene. For the ones who never believed in African sounds because they couldn’t find the creativity or content, I can proudly say it’s here now. The time of just senseless afrobeats drums talking about “women, sex, vanity” over averagely constructed rhymes is gone.
These sounds are being constructed in ways they can be played across the world.
The new age is basing their music not only on their roots, but on general ideologies and sonics anyone from around the world can listen to and still feel connected to.
The new age is pushing the bracket and the competition is growing, capturing the hearts of this young, vibrant and insanely creative Generation Z.