By Akinbola Esther

Music is a big deal in Africa and it has helped in telling their Stories. There are quite a number of music genres in Africa but this is just a few amongst them.

•           Afrobeat

Afrobeat, the most popular genre of music, involves the combination of elements of West African musical styles such as fuji music and highlife with American jazz and later soul and funk influences, with a focus on chanted vocals, complex intersecting rhythms, and percussion.

Fela Kuti Anikulapo is known as the king of Afrobeat, he was able to combine traditional Nigerian music, jazz and highlife. Today, it is often mixed with hip hop or rap and it is well known outside of Africa

•           Apala

Apala (or akpala) is a music genre which was created by the Indigenous Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa.

•           Assiko

The Assiko is a popular Rhythmic dance from the South of Cameroon. The name is coined from two words, ISI, changed into ASSI meaning Earth and KOO meaning Foot.

•           Bikutsi

Bikutsi is a Musical genre from Cameroon. The dance developed from the traditional music of the Beti, or Ewondo, people, who live around the city of Yaoundé. In the mid-20th century, it was spoken about at every side of West Africa

•           Benga music

Benga, popular in Kenya, is a mix of contemporary music with traditional Kenyan Luo music in which the guitar is played to mimic a Luo eight-string lyre called a nyatiti.

It evolved between the late 1940s and late 1960s, in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi.

•           Bongo Flava (Tanzania)

Bongo Flava, which can also be called Tanzanian Music, developed in the 90s. It is the combination of American Hip Hop and Tanzania styles such as taarab and dansi. It also adds a little bit of reggae, R&B and Afrobeat to give a distinct style of music.

•           Chimurenga music

This genre of music is very popular in Tanzania. It amalgamated during the early 70s and was pioneered by singer-composer Thomas Mapfumo. He fused elements of traditional Shona drumming and mbira music of the Shona people with Afro Rock to form a distinct style.

•           Desert Blues

The people living in the Sahara desert have been making blues music long before it got famous in the West. This sounds absolutely brilliant!

•           Fuji

Popular music genre from Nigeria based on traditional Muslim Yoruba music.

•           Funana

Music style and dance from Cape Verde based on the accordion.

•           Highlife

Highlife is a genre from Ghana and popular in all of English-speaking West Africa.

•           Hiplife

Fun and extremely popular among Ghana’s youth is the fusion of highlife and hip hop.

•           Isicathamiya

Harmonious and gentle a cappella sung by all male choirs from the South African Zulu.

•           Kizomba

Kizomba means “party” in the Angolan language. The dance style is becoming increasingly popular in Europe and North America.

•           Kwaito

South Africa’s black youth loves this new mix of house music and African sounds.

•           Makossa

This urban dance music from the capital city of Cameroon reminds of Soukous.

•           Mbalax

Senegal’s most popular music style. Mbalax is a brilliant fusion of traditional griot praise songs and sabar rhythms with modern Western elements.