Tiwa Savage, Davido and Mr. Eazi are the cover stars for Billboard’s latest special issue, which is entirely devoted to the continent of Africa.
The feature states that as streaming has gained popularity, the sounds and visibility of African artists and producers has similarly increased, thanks to tracks like Drake’s “One Dance” (which features Nigeria’s WizKid), and albums like the Beyoncé-curated The Lion King: The Gift.
“The three major-label groups—Universal, Warner and Sony—have all ramped up their investments in Africa in recent years: opening offices, sending A&R scouts to major hubs and forming joint ventures and partnerships,” the feature reads, adding, “[Africa] has also emerged as a particular wellspring of talent, thanks to stars like Tiwa Savage, Davido and Mr. Eazi…[highlighting] just how many possibilities await African talent.”
“The music is amazing. The feeling you get from Afrobeats and African music is just different,” Davido explains of the factors driving industry interest in Africa, especially in recent years. “When I was in school in America and would play African music, people would say, ‘Yo, what’s that? That shit’s hard.’ They didn’t understand what the artists were saying, but the feeling they got [from the music] was just crazy. People have always loved African music, but we didn’t have the avenues to go worldwide. Back then, you actually had to have an African friend or come to Africa to experience it.”