London’s Summer of Afrobeats

Published: 3 years ago

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Words Danai Mavunga  Pictured DJ Edu

2012 has been a phenomenal year for afrobeats. Nigerian superstar D’banj rang in the New Year at the official celebrations in London with Oliver Twist, his top 10 smash hit which has dominated UK radio play. We have seen One To Watch Wizkid shake and gyrate his waist at a sold out Hammersmith Apollo show and be presented with a MOBO Award (he won Best African Act 2011) and the title of BET Best International Act 2012 alongside Ghana’s Sarkodie.

We have also seen afrobeats penetrate new areas, with Choice FM’s DJ Abrantee drawing over 1,000 ravers to his club night at Proud2 to azonto the night away, or stalwart afrobeats DJs like FrenchKiss trending on Twitter after debuting the music on Kiss FM, or its inclusion in The Guardian’s A-Z of popular music. It seems we can’t get enough of the high-energy party music that is already providing the soundtrack to our summer…and we are only halfway through the year.

If you have somehow missed all the action, get with the programme as ARISE rounds up the best afrobeats nights and hotspots in the London this summer.

DJ Abrantee Presents Afrobeats, Somerset House (14 July)

For the first time ever Somerset House will play host to a hot line up of afrobeats acts. Atumpan, Mista Silva, Vibe Squad and Olu Maintain are all confirmed.

The Ultimate Afrobeats Utopia, Southbank Centre (21 July)

BBC1xtra’s DJ Edu, award-winning DJ Neptizzle and afro-house specialist Sef Kombo showcase the hottest sounds across Africa. Nigerian superstar Ice Prince is set to make a special guest appearance.

Love Afrobeats Festival, Hammersmith Apollo (26 August)

Coko Bar brings Nigeria’s hottest exports, Psquare, Wande Coal and Mr MayD to Hammersmith Apollo, where Wizkid performed in June.

Africa Unplugged (27 August)

Set to be the largest African concert in Europe ever, Wembley Arena will host artists from all over the African continent, from Fally Ipupa (Congo) to Zakes Bantwini (South Africa).

D’banj Live, Hammersmith Apollo (27 August)

The KokoMaster himself is back again, this time bringing Nigeria’s stars Davido and the HKN Gang.

Hotter Than You, Hysteria (monthly)

DJ Neptizzle’s new monthly residency in the heart of East London has landed in Dalston at club Hysteria, where afrobeats lovers fist pump their way into the wee hours of the morning.

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