Coming In Hot: These Afrobeats Stars Are Set To Light Up The Summer

Afrobeats stars Rema, Amaarae, Asake and Ayra Starr are coming to Afro Nation Detroit (Credit: X, Facebook, Capital FM Kenya). 

If Black life had a soundtrack these days, it would be dominated by the pulsating grooves of Afrobeats, a fusion of Black musical styles burning up parties around the globe—from Lagos to Atlanta. 

This African export, whose songs range from sultry to celebratory, combines West African rhythms with dancehall, R&B, pop, and Hip-hop. It’s sonic alchemy. It’s also not to be confused with Afrobeat, the genre pioneered in the 1960s by Fela Kuti, which contains jazz, funk, soul, and highlife elements.

Afrobeats with an “s” is a contemporary cultural phenomenon with legions of fans.

Throw on “ear-wormy” jams like “Essence,” “Calm Down” or “Peru” and watch dancefloors descend into sweet, joyful chaos. 

There’s a reason that, since 2017, streams of Afrobeats songs have exploded. 

“It’s our time,” Ayra Starr told BBC News earlier this year. “It’s been a long time coming, and we deserve this.”  

Artists like Burna Boy, Davido, Tems and Wizkid are giants of the genre. Still, there is a constellation of other artists like Starr, Rema, Asake and Amaarae, who have become global sensations in their own right. 

Their names ring out on every continent imaginable, including North America. 

These internationally renowned artists are coming stateside to perform at the world’s biggest Afrobeats festival this summer: Afro Nation Detroit, August 17-18. 

Starr, Rema, Asake, and Amaarae will perform on the very grounds that birthed the prodigious musical talent known as Diana Ross. This is a fitting correlation in that a discerning ear will likely hear elements of Black American soul in their sound. 

Though the festival is weeks away, we’ve provided a cheat sheet on these artists who will perform alongside American stars like Lil Wayne and PARTYNEXTDOOR at Afro Nation Detroit. 

Rema: The Prince of Afrobeats

Born Divine Ikubor, Rema burst onto the scene in 2019 with his eponymous EP, capturing the world’s attention with tracks such as “Dumebi” and “Iron Man.” Signed to Mavin Records, Rema’s sound fuses trap, Afropop, and dancehall. His 2022 debut album, “Rave & Roses,” minted him as a leading figure in the genre. 

His music is marked by infectious melodies, refined production and lyrics that reflect the lives of our youth. 

Asake: The Street-Pop Sensation

Ahmed Ololade, known as Asake, blends Afrobeats and amapiano, rendering a unique style defined as swaggering, summery and bright. Tracks like “Mr. Money” and “Omo Ope” have become anthems, resonating deeply with listeners who appreciate his gritty storytelling and energetic delivery. Asake’s rise has been meteoric, driven by a string of successful singles and a rapidly growing online presence. 

Ayra Starr: The Celestial Siren

Ayra Starr, an ethereal songstress with an old soul, has a penchant for crafting anthems. Discovered by Mavin Records, her music is an infectious blend of Afropop, R&B and soul. Her debut EP showcased her range, tackling themes of love, empowerment and self-discovery. Chart-topping cuts like “Away” beamed with resilience and independence. When she released the single “Rush” in 2022, it became a mainstream sensation. With the video for that song, she became the youngest African female artist to surpass 100 Million views on YouTube.

Amaarae: The Alté Queen

Amaarae, born Ama Serwah Genfi, is a trailblazer in the alté movement, a subgenre of Afrobeats that embraces alternative sounds and experimental aesthetics. With her distinctive style, characterized by genre-blending and androgynous fashion, Amaarae has carved a unique niche for herself in the music industry. Her debut album, “The Angel You Don’t Know,” released in 2020, garnered critical acclaim for its bold experimentation and genre-defying tracks. Songs such as “SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY” and “LEAVE ME ALONE” showcase her innovative approach, seamlessly blending Afrobeat, R&B, and electronic music elements. Amaarae’s fearless creativity and boundary-pushing sound position her as a pivotal figure in the future of Afrobeats.

The Global Wave of Afrobeats

The future of Afrobeats gleams with promise as these pioneering artists pave the way for new talent to emerge. As they continue to push boundaries and explore uncharted sonic landscapes, one thing is certain: Afrobeats will evolve and remain. Its next wave is poised to leave an indelible mark on the world’s stages and dance floors.

For information and tickets to Afro Nation Detroit, visit

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