Nigerian artist Davido says all African artists are lumped under the Afrobeats genre irrespective of the genre or type of music that they make.
Many Americans associate R&B music with Afrobeats music because of how similar the beats and lyrics are. However, according to Davido, there is a marked difference between both, as he explained that African artists have been making R&B music but are categorized under the Afrobeat label because of where they come from.
While speaking to TMZ, the artist who seized his first Grammy nomination with three nods shared that R&B was different than Afrobeats as it was a wider category that smushed all African artists under the label because of their location.
According to Davido, he, along with other artists who make R&B music, is labeled falsely as Afrobeats because of the sole fact that they are African.’
“I have songs that have sound [like] R&B… Back home we have [artists that do] straight R&B. We have African R&B. Afrobeats I feel like is the term used to describe African musicians. I don’t think it’s the type of music we make or the style of music,” Davido said, adding that he knew of African artists in Nigeria who were drill rappers.
“Because he’s African [drill rappers] we call him Afrobeats artist. Afrobeats is the original sound which originates from Fela Kuti back in the day. Back in the day, the UK was the first place to glorify our type of music, so when they wanted to put us under a genre that described our music, somebody said “Afrobeat,” and from there, we just kind of ran with it,” he said.
The “Unavailable” hitmaker seemed to hint that the Grammy’s did not get it right as the current nominations see him going up against heavy hitters like Asake, Arya Starr, Burna Boy, and newcomer Tyla. However, some fans have regarded songs from these artists, like Tyla’s “Water,” for example, as R&B music.
“I don’t think there is a difference between R&B and Afrobeats, I feel like Afrobeats is what is used to describe music made by an African artiste whether it’s trap, whether it’s R&B, whether it’s Techno as long as an African musician is making it then it’s categorized as Afrobeats and R&B is just R&B,” Davido said.
The artist recently welcomed twins with his wife Chioma and has much to celebrate with his first time being nominated by the Grammy in three categories.