SoundCloud Next Wave: Exploring UK Afrobeats, The Emerging Sound Keeping London Moving
“Different Settings,” the latest installment of SoundCloud Next Wave, premieres today – watch below! This episode spotlights the UK’s rising Afrobeats scene, diving headfirst into the genre’s unpredictable fusion of sounds and its many substyles, from the percussive blast of Afro Trap and Afro Swing to the trippy Afro Wave and beyond.
Viewers are taken on a ride through London’s streets as Afro B, one of the genre’s key figures, meets with the innovative and globally-influenced artists who are spiking their West African roots with dancehall, hip-hop, and grime. Afro B has seen the genre’s rise first-hand, noting that “in the beginning of the scene, literally every artist would upload their song on SoundCloud and would literally get a million plays.”
Featured artists include UK Afrobeats pioneers Belly Squad, a trio comprised of Ross, Ty and Yung Max; Yxng Bane, a rising East London artist blending R&B sensibilities with Congolese melodies; and Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley, an emerging Afro Swing artist shaped largely by his Nigerian background.
“Different Settings” traces Afrobeats’ founding and tells the story of artists who stayed true to their heritage, found their voices, and inadvertently reinvented the sound of London’s dance floors. Now these artists are taking their homegrown movement further, using SoundCloud – which as Yxng Bane points out has “made it easier for the whole world, it’s just a click away” – to propel their music and the UK Afrobeats genre worldwide.
SoundCloud Next Wave highlights the exciting local creator communities being shaped, shared, and celebrated on SoundCloud everyday. Previous episodes tapped into local scenes emerging in Brazil (“Visão”), New York City (“Extended Mix”), Toronto (“Northern Stars”), and Los Angeles’ (“Degenerate Generation”).
Stay tuned for the final episode of the year, spotlighting Berlin, premiering on December 13th.