February 13, 2023

The Future African Concert Experience Is Artist-Led

How African Artists Are Taking The Reigns Of The Live Music Scene.

Mayuyuka Kaunda

Driven by the rise of genres such as amapiano and afrobeats, the continent’s live music space is as healthy as it’s ever been! Across different territories, artist’s are playing a leading part in offering music fans memorable experiences. From the hip hop-based ‘Street Fest’ in South Africa started by NOTBENJAMIN, to other artist-driven events such as afrobeats star King Promise’s ‘Promiseland’ and rapper M.anifest’s ‘Manifestivities’; revelers across the continent aren’t in short supply of well curated live shows - specifically around the festive season.

The original coiner of the famous #DettyDecember phrase, Mr Eazi’s ‘Detty Rave’ event made its return to Ghana last year and is one of the shining examples of the future of the African concert experience. The EDM-styled event is a first of its kind on the continent and is primed to become a cross-regional experience with iterations in Eastern and Southern Africa planned. The show offered its 11 000 attendees an exciting combination of both local and international stars on its lineup, including Shatta Wale, DJ Edu, Ami Faku, Crayon, and Major League DJz.

Hanny Naibaho (Unsplashed)

Alongside its musical appeal, what sets ‘Detty Rave’ apart is its high production value and immersive festival aesthetic. The set design, lazers and lighting fuse the best of EDM shows like ‘Tomorrowland’ with an afrobeats touch. This hybrid approach earned rave reviews, as did the inaugural Black Star Line Festival - created by artists Chance The Rapper and Vic Mensa. The concert also played out in Ghana and attracted a whopping 50 000 partygoers who witnessed T-Pain, Erykah Badu and Tobe Nwigwe join local acts like Asakaa Boys and Sarkodie. Another example of an artist-driven initiative, the ethos of the festival was to promote collaboration across continents and encourage the diaspora to view Africa as a destination of choice for both touring and tourism. With artists making such intentional investments in providing these experiences for fans; the future of the African concert space looks set to continue to grow. Imbuing a sense of pride in the motherland, aiding cultural exchange and shifting narratives is ultimately what this intentionality will lead to.

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