The One Africa Music Festival held its first event on American soil in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on the 22nd July. The show, hosted by Banky W, boasted popular names like Flavour, Stonebwoy, Tiwa Savage, Wizkid and more. American-Nigerian artist Jidenna, also performed at the event alongside Africa’s finest, with the beats master Swiss Beats taking the stage to perform with Wizkid to a roaring audience.
Many times, African artists go on tours around the US and Europe, claiming a native fanbase when in reality the mass audience remains Africans in diaspora. Shows like One Africa Music Festival act as a melting pot for international artists and African artists and provide a balance amongst the audience. Furthermore, leveraging the stardom of artists like Wale and Jidenna ensures that the audience consists of both Americans and Africans that are drawn to attend such shows.
Very few African artists have broken into the international scene hence shows like One Music Africa Fest propels purely local artists and exposes them to a sizeable international audience.
Star power wasn’t left out of an already amazing evening. Wizkid received a rapturous reception when he performed Drake’s “One Dance”. Tiwa Savage and Don Jazzy got the crowd on their feet when they performed their hit “Eminado” and Jidenna warmed the crowd up when he told a joke his father told him years before. Other acts included Flavour, AyoJay and Davido, who all put on a show respectively.
In addition, performing alongside internationally acclaimed artists provides a yardstick for African artists to measure themselves against –performance wise. This breeds healthy competition amongst artists and acts as a reality check for those who seem content with mediocre success. One Africa Music Festival, organized by Paul Okoye, is crossing boundaries and should very well grow from strength to strength with the inclusion of more artists i.e. international and local. There should be more shows like One Africa Music Festival in the different continents then maybe the #AfricaToTheWorld movement can be considered legit.
Photo Credit: Instagram @wizkid, @bankywellington
Written by Osadebamwen Fadaka