Africa’s largest online music streaming platform, Boomplay has released Afrobeats: The Backstory,’ a nine-part documentary featuring the origins of the African sound culture.
Included in the giant industry players interviewed for this documentary were 5 of Ghana’s very own namely: Stonebwoy, Bola Ray, Antoine Mensah, JMJ and TiC.
The production tells the origin story, so to speak, of Afrobeats—its birth, its exponential rise and how it came to be one of Africa’s biggest international exports.
Speaking on their role in the documentary, Ace producerJMJ revealed, “The story of Afrobeats from Nigerian music cannot be told without the inclusion of Ghana music.
So those producing the documentary felt that they had to come to Ghana and interview renowned music business gurus and music related people on whether Afrobeats could be explained without the inclusion of Highlife and if there’s Highlife, where does it come to play.
I spoke on why Afrobeats can’t be defined without Highlife. There used to be a record label in Ghana owned by a Lebanese guy who once signed Fela Kuti – the father of Afrobeats, and he used to come record in Ghana.
According to Fela’s own drummer, even the name Afrobeats was given to them by Ghanaians and Fela liked it and all the rudiments of Highlife are involved in Afrobeats.
My conclusion is that Afrobeats is basically African rhythms, beats, timing, groove, instrumentals and everything. Afrobeats was derived from Ghanaian music, mainly Highlife. If you watch the documentary, my definition and everything I said became the major key in the documentary”.
Produced by culture broker, entrepreneur and filmmaker, Ayo Shonaiya, the film is supported by streaming giants, Boomplay Music, who are moving beyond putting money in the pockets of creators, into supporting an industry in need of documentation. Check out the themed Boomplay playlist.
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