4 Trends Shaping The Future Of African Music

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The African music industry has constantly evolved in recent years more so as it has come in contact with genres like hip-hop, Jazz, and reggae which are not native to the continent. Some genres of music such as Afrobeats, Hiplife and Amapiano have even emerged from the fusion of these “imported” genres and local sounds, creating sounds that have a local fanbase yet a global appeal.
The successes of these “hybrid” sounds will surely play a role in the evolution of African music, and therefore as we move into the future, there are several predictions and trends that are set to shape the way music is created, consumed, and distributed. From advancements in technology to changing consumer preferences, let’s take a closer look at what lies ahead for the future of  African music.

1. Music Streaming will become more influential
Over the past decade, streaming has revolutionized the way we listen to music in Africa. With platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music gaining popularity, the era of physical music sales is slowly fading away. And this is a major advantage for many struggling African musicians who do not have the sales and advertising budgets of the big labels in the global north. It means they can gain a share of the market without having to match the big labels in spending. In the future, streaming is expected to become even more dominant, because the increasing African diaspora in Europe and American implies a potential rise in demand for exclusive content and personalized music recommendations based on their native sounds.

2. African musicians will use Artificial intelligence in music creation more
 Even though internet penetration in Africa is still low, African artists are fast catching up with technological trends in African music. One of the trends in music right now is  Artificial intelligence. For African music, AI is a leveler, because it allows the struggling independent talent to leverage resources that would otherwise not be available to them. AI-powered tools  are now being used to compose music, generate lyrics, and even mimic the style of famous musicians. As technology continues to advance, we can expect AI to play a more significant role in music creation in Africa, enabling artists to experiment with new sounds and push their creative boundaries.

3. Rise of the independent artists and record labels:
In Africa, particularly sub-Saharan Africa where there is little to no structure around the music industry, most music artists are independent. However what was a minus for several decades has now become something of a positive as independent artistes are gaining significant traction thanks to social media platforms and streaming services. With the ability to self-promote and distribute their music to a global audience.  This trend is expected to continue, With the success that independent labels like Olamide’s YBNL, Burna Boy’s Spaceship Records and Don Jazzy’s Supreme Mavin’s Dynasty. African  musicians will focus on the independent label model that allows them have more creative control and a direct connection with their fans.

4. A higher demand for diverse, Inclusive and culturally conscious music:
Africa with its 54 countries and over a thousand different ethnicities is perhaps the most diverse of any music industry in the world today. This is why it is becoming the new destination for musicians from other parts of the world. The continent will surely benefit from the  shift towards embracing artists from different backgrounds and genres. Thanks to the internet  consumers around the world now demand more varied and inclusive music. Artists who bring a unique cultural perspective or challenge societal norms are gaining recognition, leading to a more diverse and vibrant music landscape. An example that readily comes to mind in this case is Burnaboy, who has built a global following around highlighting social issues in his native Nigeria.

 At ACA we have music professionals  that have studied these trends and who are leading efforts that benefit musicians and music professionals in these areas. Further we are leveraging on our network of music professionals from all over Africa to ensure that there is a regional and continental agenda in place to help African musicians and creative artists can position themselves to derive value for themselves and for their communities around this trend.

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