An fascinating music trend was recently highlighted in The Fader. A cross-pollination of African and Caribbean sounds is creating a new subgenre, and the publication’s Jesse Serwer does a great exploration of the roots and fruits of this development.
Today, Jamaican reggae and dancehall are among the most popular music forms in many parts of Africa. Along with hip-hop, house, and African sounds like highlife and kwaito, reggae and dancehall represent a major thread in the expansive category of African dance rhythms that has come to be known as afrobeats, from the patois-inflected bashment pop of Nigeria’s Burna Boy and Timaya, to the quasi-dancehall azonto beats used by Ghanaian artists like Sarkodie.
Now, it is Africa that is again influencing Caribbean music, at the considerably more mellow 120 beats-per-minute tempo of groovy soca. As afrobeats has fanned out of Lagos and Accra and into the global mainstream through diasporic hubs like London and Toronto, it is having a more intimate, familiar conversation with the islands. Artists from the two regions are building on their shared histories and extant similarities with collaborations and remixes that are blurring the boundaries between African and Caribbean sounds even further.
Serwer provides lots of links and videos, so there’s plenty to explore. Read the full article here.