Journey of the beats: How Showmax is telling the African story through music
With its just-released documentary dubbed, Journey of The Beats, premium video streaming service, Shomax unfurls an immersive insight into Nigeria’s winning Afrobeats.
Produced by veteran music executive, Obi Asika, Journey Of The Beats is a ten-part documentary series, which tells a once-in-a-lifetime story about the origin and evolution of Afrobeats and black music.
Each episode is told through the lens of music historians and prominent artistes like 2Baba, P-Square, Onyeka Onwenu, Daddy Showkey, Flavour, and D’Banj. It goes behind the scenes to shed light on the Afrobeats movement that has taken the world by storm.
According to Conversation Africa, Afrobeats is the genre that emerged when West African pop music became cool. More than this, it is a convenient term for Europe to refer to music coming out of Africa, distinct from Euro-American pop. Although many globally confuse Afrobeats as one sound, it is far from that.
Legendary musicians like King Sunny Ade proved that Nigerian music was fantastic even before the hype started. In 1984, King Sunny Ade earned a Grammy nomination for his Syncro System album in the ‘Best Ethnic or Traditional Folk Recording’ category. He received another nomination for ‘Best World Music Album’ in 1999 for his Odu album.
In 1998, Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji also received a ‘Best World Music Album’ nomination for his Love Drum Talk album. In 1991, he won a Grammy for his contribution to Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum. Years later, Femi Kuti received a Grammy nomination for his Fight to Win album in the ‘Best World Music Album’ category in 2003. Although widely celebrated, the nomination was a long time coming.
Afrobeats has come a long way since Wizkid was heard worldwide in that Drake track that Forbes called ‘The Biggest Song On The Planet In 2016’. The song was also Drake’s first number one in the UK and is eight times platinum in the US. Since then, Afrobeats stars have taken over the world. The sound is now one of the biggest globally, with several international artistes clamoring to work with musicians in Nigeria and Ghana.
It’s been a long streak of wins for our music and artistes. And as the world’s attention continuously turns to Africa, it’s become increasingly important to tell our stories by ourselves.
This is where Showmax comes in. Known to tell untold African stories, the streaming platform is doing just that with the recently premiered Journey of the Beats. The 10-part docu-series is available only on Showmax, with new episodes on Thursdays.