May 19, 2023

Afrobeats Meets Fashion and The Metaverse

Fireboy DML and Clarks Traverse Worlds

Mayuyuka Kaunda

While the popular phrase may be ‘Afrobeats To The World’, footwear brand Clarks, boutique label Empire and Fireboy DML joined forces to take the burgeoning genre #BeyondWorlds in a campaign that married music with fashion and technology through a digital concert streamed exclusively on Fireboy DML's YouTube channel.

As contemporary African sounds accompanied this innovative presentation of a brand deeply-embedded in Caribbean culture; Nigeria, Cape Verde and America connected in the metaverse as singer-songwriters Nissi and June Freedom supported Fireboy’s virtual set. Each of these talented artists performed through their avatars, faithfully relaying their signature styles against the backdrop of lush, natural landscapes and futuristic, neon-lit architecture. Fireboy’s performance included popular tunes “Scatter” and “Peru” which provided a fitting soundtrack to the synthesized aesthetic, as the crooner rocked his Wallabees from the Clarks Jacquard Collection.

Having reached the summit of Billboard’s ‘Afrobeats Songs Chart’ alongside 21 Savage, BLXST and Ed Sheeran for his remix of “Peru”, Fireboy has already proved that he has a universal sound and plenty of crossover appeal. With this move, he’s now demonstrating his value as an ambassador, brand partner and trendsetter. 

This is the perfect pairing with the floral touch of this Wallabee matching the emotive undercurrents of Fireboy's sound - a mixture of afropop, r&b, dancehall and reggae - which has appeal across the Caribbean, United States, United Kingdom and Africa. It’s clear this innovative campaign at the intersection of music, fashion & tech covers geographical bases, but its illustration of moving beyond boundaries is what shows how afrobeats artists can reach new audiences and tap new opportunities both physically and virtually.

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