It’s not every day that we get to see an artist brave enough to define a genre of their own, so when Rema came out to declare his style of music as “Afro-Rave,” it wasn’t surprising that it would generate much attention and reaction from his fans both in Nigeria and all over the world.
Afro-Rave might sound a lot like Afrobeats, but Rema has established it as a distinct sound different from any other genre. So what is Afro-Rave and how different is it from the Afrobeats that we have all grown to love and adore? Find out in this exquisite expository on Afro-rave and how it is such a huge influence in the world of Afrobeats.
First, an overview of Afro beats
There’s hardly any music lover who is oblivious to what Afrobeats is. This is because Afrobeats is largely the foundation of contemporary music in Africa, especially in West Africa where the genre’s influence is widespread. It wouldn’t even be farfetched to say that Afrobeats is the default music genre in Nigeria. Afrobeats (also known as Afro-pop or Afro-fusion) is the quintessential sound of the average African appreciated in Nigeria, Ghana, and other African countries. It is the broad term used to categorize contemporary West African pop music. Afrobeats is a music genre composed of a blend of both West African and African American influences. Common highlights of Afro beats are auto-tuning of vocals and the use of English, West African languages, and Pidgin English. The most popular Nigerian artists in the Afrobeats genre are Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa savage, Tems, and a host of others.
What is Afro-rave?
Afro-Rave is a sub-genre of the well-known Afrobeats. The two genres share quite a lot of similarities like the utilization of upbeat tunes and Hip-hop sounds with a West African twist to them. Afro-Rave is a melting pot of intoxicating bass, techno, drums, and sometimes rap in Pidgin English. At the core of the sound, you can easily identify authentic African lyrics and vocals which pump up its originality and appeal to the African audience. The sub-genre Afro-rave might have Afrobeats as its parent, but it is still very distinct in its own right. Most of Rema’s songs like Iron man and Soundgasm completely represent the essence of the Afro-Rave sub-genre. These songs unleashed by Rema feature infectious rhythm and sensual melodies. The songs also manage to incorporate Afrobeats while not sacrificing quality lyrics and vocals which is one of the reasons why Rema’s Afro-Rave remains outstanding to date.
How did Afro-Rave come to be?
It would be safe to say that Afro-rave is Rema’s music child. Afro-Rave was created by Mavin superstar: Divine Ikubor with the stage name Rema. The “Dumebi” crooner decided to carve his very own niche in the music industry calling the sub-genre Afro-Rave. He officially made this declaration in 2021 as the announcement that his album titled “Bounce” sealed the claim. Before the announcement, many Rema fans had been curious about the twist that the superstar had put to his music. Initially, a lot of opinions arose from fans and commentators who were interested in analyzing the style of Rema’s music with some stating that the sound bears a close resemblance to Indian or Arabic music. Nevertheless, Rema cleared the air of all speculations when he emphasized that his genre of music is Afro-Rave. He even commented on Twitter that the people calling his style of musician are now doing the same thing. The sub-genre has grown to be a big part of Rema’s musical identity so much so that his fans are now known as “Ravers.”
Afro-Rave and its potential in the music industry
It wasn’t long ago that Rema officially announced Afro-Rave as his distinct sound so that goes to show that the genre is still very new. Despite this, Afro-Rave has proved to be very well received by music fans all over the world. Afro-rave holds a lot of potential and has already made a tremendous impact on the Nigerian music scene. Rema’s Afro-Rave and authentic approach to Nigerian music has taken over the industry and helped him to win several awards. Some of such awards are the highly coveted Headies award for Next Rated, The Future Awards Africa Price for Music, and the City People Music Award for Revelation of the Year. Apart from the prestigious awards, the Afro-Rave genre has also served to distinguish Rema from the crowd of music artists and skyrocket him to international recognition. For example, one of his hit songs titled “Iron man” made it to Barack Obama’s top curated list of 2019 summer playlist songs.
Afro-Rave is sensual, energetic, and upbeat with universally relatable tunes and lyrics that almost everyone (no matter their origin) can vibe to. It is without a doubt that Afro-rave has had a huge impact on the music industry and we have Rema to thank for it. Rema is not the only music artist in the Afro-Rave genre though. Even though it is his original sound, there are other artists that sound very similar to him in their unique way. Even Rema believes that there is room for growth in this genre of music as he commented that he would like to see the next generation carry on with it.
It’s not every day that you see a young, talented artist who is not afraid to stand out boldly in a unique genre despite getting both positive and negative attention from fans. Rema came into the music industry a few years ago with the peculiar Afro-Rave genre and has never looked back ever since then. Afro-Rave might be a sub-genre of the Afrobeats, but it is still nonetheless a very notable and appreciated niche of its own. With Rema taking the lead, we can only get excited as we imagine what is coming next in this particular genre of African music. From what we can see and have seen so far, there is no doubt that Rema and the Afro-Rave genre is a gift not just to Nigeria but to the entire music industry.