- Chizoba Itabor
Good Afro-Beats Remixes Do Exist
With Afro-Beats becoming more mainstream (especially in the West) it doesn’t surprise me that we’re seeing more collaborations between Western and Afro-Beats artists.
Though these collaborations provide more recognition for African artists, which can lead to more opportunities and success. Simultaneously many fans of the genre aren’t thrilled with some of the new songs that have been released. Personally, I haven’t been a fan of some songs that have recently come out. And that's because I felt the featuring artist didn’t mesh well with the backing track or the Afro-Beats artist. Which then leads to the song sounding awful.
After hearing a fair share of sub-par songs, for some time, I generally became sceptical when I heard a well-loved afro-beats song was going to have a remix. Or when a big pop star was making a feature on a new track. Butttt after randomly stumbling across a couple and yes, I mean a couple of good-quality remixes and original releases, my opinion has changed. And now, I would say I approach such songs with an open mind.
So, for those of you who desperately want to hear good afro beats remixes and original releases, here are my top 4 recommendations.
Bloody Samaritan Remix – Ayra Starr Featuring Kelly Rowland
I adore the original song so much that, in fact, it was featured in my Top Songs of 2021 Spotify playlist. So, when I heard the talented Ayra Starr had released a remix with no other than THE Kelly Rowland I ran to Spotify ASAP. As I had to know if this remix was going to be a bop or a flop. And I kid you not, this song was on repeat after I heard it for the first time.
This track is audio gold, and a good example of what Afro-Beats remixes should be like when featuring a western artist. I say this because Kelly’s verse was fire, it fitted perfectly within the overall song. And it’s great that she didn’t need to change the way she sings for this to happen. Ayra and Kelly clearly have different styles of singing and create different music but despite this, they were able to come together and give us an amazing song.
Tiwa Savage - Somebody’s Son ft. Brandy
If you haven’t heard this song, once you’ve read this article, listen to this ASAP because it is BEAUTIFUL. The one and only Tiwa Savage harmonising with Brandy aka The Vocal Bible was something I’m glad I got to witness because boy was it a heavenly experience!
Moreover, it was lovely to hear Brandy speak in my mother’s tongue - Yorùbá and pronounce the words correctly. This was a good example of cultural exchange.
Seyi Shay & Teyana Taylor - Gimme Love Remix
This is another good Afro-Beats remix because like the Bloody Samaritan remix Seyi Shay and Teyana Taylor take their respective sounds and blend them together to make a sweet melody. Both singers have beautiful voices. And I particularly adore how the addition of Teyana’s vocals turns the song from being just Afro-Beats to an Afro-Beats and RnB fusion.
So, to all my lovers of Afro-Beats and RnB, I think this is one song you should check out.
GoldLink - Zulu Screams ft. Maleek Berry, Bibi Bourelly
Not only is the beat incredible and will guarantee that you break a sweat. But overall Goldlink understood the assignment and delivered! His flow on this beat is wonderful. And the addition of Maleek Berry and Bibi Bourelly's vocals increased the already great quality of this song. If you’re in the mood to jaiye then play this song on repeat as it’s a certified hit.
So overall, though there have been some questionable collaborations between Western and Afro-Beats artists, I’m glad that this isn’t the case for all remixes and original releases. There are gems out there we can enjoy, honour, and celebrate.