The New Yorker has joined an increasing list of major international media platforms paying attention to the development and position of Nigerian pop in world music.
There has been an increased interest in contemporary pop sounds coming out of Africa, particularly Nigeria, which is home to some of Africa’s finest musicians.
With Drake and Skepta jumping on a remix of Wizkid’s Ojuelegba (and subsequent collaborations between Wizkid and Drake), Afropop became a major contender in the world music stage.
Spotlighting Nigerian artistes, The New Yorker gave the below description:
“The Nigerian musicians who are changing the sound of global pop”.
The piece, which featured a wide range of singers from different genres, begins with a focus on Innocent ‘2baba’ Idibia.
The ‘African Queen’ singer was described as an Afropop pioneer and godfather, with the report saying that he is “less a virtuoso than a brilliant synthesist, with a knack for drawing together far-flung influences to create songs that seem plainspoken and homegrown”.
Other artistes featured in the piece are Seyi Shay, Maka, Adekunle Gold + the Ninth Element, Simi, Niniola, Davido, Falz, Mars and Barzini, Skales.
However Wizkid, who has seen his career take on a meteoric rise in recent years, owing to his status on the international stage as the face of Afropop, was prominently not mentioned in The New Yorker piece.
His absence is quite pronounced as Wizkid was the first Nigerian artiste to top a US music chart, after scoring a number one Billboard hit with his collaboration on Drake’s 2016 ‘One Dance.’
The piece was written by music critic, Kelefa Sanneh, photo shoot of the artistes was co-produced by Nigerian music journalist Joey Akan, and shot by Swiss-Guinean photographer Namsa Leuba.