Thoughts with Mild Sauce

Embracing Change + The Future of Afrobeats 🤷🏽‍♀️

Published 3 months ago • 2 min read

For some of us December isn't *really* the end of the year, and for others it's the perfect time to start thinking about and planning for what's to come. Regardless, I do think this season has a way of forcing us all to reflect. The tried + true Taurus in me hates change—which is why it makes sense that I'm scratching my head at the idea of what Afrobeats could sound like in 2024.

As a deep lover of the genre, I'm often screaming "bring back 2016 Afrobeats!' It's why I love Davido's "E PAIN ME" from his latest album so much. In the early to mid-2010s, the music felt like it could purely transform any sad situation presented in the lyrics or felt in the songs into something hopeful—or dare I say happy. I love Amapiano but the inclusion of its elements in today's Afrobeats isn't always my favorite. More widely called "Afropiano" (Southy babes pls don't come for me 😅), it doesn't resonate with me like authentic Amapiano does and I'm curious if the blending from West African artists will largely continue or if their music will go in different directions.

In my heart of hearts, I believe most of the time genre is fake. As Black people, we inspire and create many things anew from our cultures. Most of today's Dancehall sounds like Hip-Hop (which is of its origins. Thank you Jamaican sound system). Many of the Afrobeats we hear today would be classified as R&B or Pop if the African artists weren't speaking in their native languages. The same could be said of most music from artists outside of America. But Amapiano is a House genre that's too niche to classify as most anything else.

So what do I think is to come for African music in 2024? I'm not completely sure. I think Amapiano artists are going to push their sound to new heights in efforts to keep it as authentic, unique, and as difficult to replicate as possible. For Afrobeats? I genuinely have no idea but I do think there will be more collaborations with American artists as the genre keeps going mainstream. At the same time though, I am thinking African Francophone music will inch closer and closer to the mainstream as well (All hail my Queen of France Aya Nakamura). I'm excited for the possibilities.

What genres do you think will takeover this year? Let me know!


Have we gotten Island 54 yet? No. But did my queen Stefflon Don give us a hit? YES. I've been a bit bored by Dancehall releases lately but the Dutty Money Riddim is blessing me. She's classified the song as "African Dancehall", which has me scratching my head a little bit but that's besides the point. As I mentioned on Instagram, I have no comment on the Dancehall beef that flooded our timelines between her and Jada Kingdom. Just know Stefflon Don remains my queen and I'll be unavailable when the album drops.

A recent gig led me to revisit the tunes I loved in the 2000s and I rediscovered one of my favorite artists in my young teens, Sean Kingston. This song still gives me all the feels and makes me nostalgic for simpler times when it was just me and my USB MP3 player.

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Thoughts with Mild Sauce

by DJ Diaspora

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