5 Unexpected Afrobeats collaborations with international artists

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Collaborations between Nigerian and foreign artists provide a platform for the fusion of diverse musical styles and cultural influences.

Nigerian artists, such as Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Davido, have emerged as prominent figures in the global music scene, attracting the interest of international artists seeking to tap into the energy and creativity of the Nigerian music scene. The rapid growth of Afrobeat is remarkable.

The Afrobeat genre has transcended borders and captivated audiences worldwide with its irresistible rhythms and soulful melodies. However certain partnerships emerge unexpectedly, catching fans off guard and sparking excitement or skepticism across the music industry. Here are five international Afrobeat collaborations that no one saw coming:

1. Ojapiano- Kcee featuring One Republic

Kcee announced the remix with One Republic at the beginning of 2024. The collaboration was not expected and many were skeptical about the fusion of Afrobeat/Amapiano and Country Pop. The remix was released in March 2024.

“Ojapiano was blowing up and becoming viral. I was in America doing one or two shows. I checked my DM and I saw a message from One Republic. They said ‘We are massive fans and we love what you are doing with your song Ojapiano. We are open for a remix if you are interested. Everyone needs to hear the Ojapiano remix. Oyibo singing Ojapiano. It’s dropping next month”

2. Jeezu- Adekunle Gold feat. Doja Cat and Kodak Black

Jeymes Samuel enlisted Adekunle Gold to feature on the soundtrack for his upcoming film ‘Book of Clarence’. The soundtrack features Adekunle Gold alongside American rapper Doja Cat and Kodak Black on Jeezu. Although their genres are slightly different, all three artists blended their voices exceptionally well. Doja Cat and Kodak Black took the rap verses while Adekunle Gold sang the verses and wowed fans with his sonorous voice.

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The Book of Clarence is a 2024 adventure film written and produced by British songwriter and filmmaker Jeymes Samuel. International artists like Yemi Alade, Doja Cat, Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, and Jorja Smith were featured in the film. British Ghanaian actor Eric Kofi-Abrefa, Nigerian-American actor Babs Olusanmokun, and David Oyelowo were also featured in the film.

3. Tony Montana- Skepta featuring Portable

This had to be the most shocking yet successful song of 2024. British Rapper Skepta featured Nigerian singer Portable on his new track Tony Montana. Both artists linked up at the British Fashion Show Awards in 2023. Reactions from fans were that of shock as the link-up was unfathomable.

Tony Montana is currently topping music streaming apps. Tony Montana” stormed onto the music scene with its release on March 1st, quickly amassing an impressive over one million views on YouTube. The song ranked number one spot on the Spotify Daily Top Songs chart for Nigeria. The song, Tony Montana has earned the artists their career debut at the top of the chart.

4. Oyinye- P-square featuring Rick Ross

Oyinye is a fusion of Afrobeat and international rap and stands as an unexpected yet electrifying collaboration between Nigerian musical duo P-Square and American rapper Rick Ross. Released in 2012 as part of P-Square’s album The Invasion, this track seamlessly blends the infectious rhythms of Afrobeat with Rick Ross’s signature lyrical prowess, creating a global anthem that resonates with audiences worldwide. P-squares’ collaboration with Rick Ross was the peak at a time when Afrobeat was finding its footing.

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5. Fountains- Drake featuring Tems

Fountain stands as a groundbreaking collaboration between two dynamic artists, Drake and Tems, melding the infectious rhythms of Afrobeat with the global appeal of contemporary pop and hip-hop. The single, Fountain debuted at No.26 on the Billboard chart.

The single is off Drake’s recently released album, Certified Lover Boy. The 2021 album ranked at No. 19. Drake gained nine of the 10 spots on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, while Fountains, his collaboration with Tems sits at No. 26.

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