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Afrobeats, no doubt has been sweeping global populations off their feet with several artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Tems, and Davido constantly putting the genre on the world map with their irresistible jams. They have consistently surfaced on the UK and US Billboard charts with their singles since 2021, proving that Afrobeats is a force to be reckoned with.

K-pop, (a short form for Korean Pop), is another wave known as the “Hallyu wave” crashing the shores. In this particular genre, the artists are referred to as “idols”. They are young individuals who are highly fashionable, extremely good looking, rigorously trained in singing and dancing in order to portray them as having a perfect and flawless demeanor. Unlike the Afrobeat genre where the artists have the freedom of raw expression through actions and lyrics, these idols are compelled to be role models for their fans and portray a squeaky-clean persona in the society.

With several K-pop groups like BTS, Blackpink, TXT, Stray Kids, ranking high effortlessly on the American and European charts, attending MET Galas and appearing on interviews like The Late Night Show with Jimmy Fallon, it shows that K-pop is clearly a raging force backed by powerhouses like HYBE (BTS, TXT) YG (Blackpink) and other companies, and it boasts of an immensely huge fan base and global presence.

Although there was a viral hit of a Korean song, ‘Gangnam Style’ by Psy in 2012, it fizzled out quickly because nobody actually cared about the origin. The peculiar beat only appealed to the African audience briefly and went into extinction. These two worlds seemed like parallel lines that was destined to never meet until surprising fusions, genre-bending collaborations and mentions started popping out of nowhere, leaving the fans of both worlds scratching their heads in delight. BTS, the biggest K-pop boy band on the planet, have constantly shown their interest in Afrobeats. Jhope and Jungkook are always keeping up with the latest African dance craze on Tiktok. 

According to modern marketing statistics, there was 267% rise in K-pop streaming from fans in Nigeria, Ghana (236%), and Kenya (140%) in 2022. Ever since then, there has been a steady increase in K-pop and Afrobeats popularity. Afrobeats splashed across the borders, got its wave into the Asian market and infused the Koreans with the energetic bop as we see several celebrities like Rain, a South Korean actor bopping to Burna boy’s Ye’ on his Instagram account. 

TXT’s Taehyun once recommended Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ in his 2022 live and mentioned him as his ideal collaboration in an interview. ‘Bolo’ (produced by Nigerian-British soundsmith, London) and Shy (eh o) by Penomeco also contained the Nigerian languages like “Nawa o, mo ti je gbese” and “Omalicha” with some sprinkle of Pidgin English. 

Just last weekend, Ice Prince, in collaboration with Afroentertainmentsk made history by holding a concert at BDBD club in Itaewon and album listening for his new album ‘Fire and Ice’ at Awesome Club, Dongducheon, Busan, South Korea. Many Koreans were seen jamming and rocking to his songs like they were born to them.

Panshak Henry Zamani, better known as Ice Prince Zamani or Ice Prince, is a Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter that was born on 30th of October, 1984. The forty years old artist rose to stardom with his song ‘Oleku’ that featured Brymo in 2012, after he released Everybody Loves Ice Prince’ as his debut album in 2011. His notable works over the years includes, Aboki’ and ‘I swear’. Over the years, he had played his part on putting Afrobeat on the map and finally crossed borders to promote his new album in South Korea. 

Starting from the enthusiastic welcome he received at the airport, insane energy from the club where everyone blasted to his songs, and bonus tour of the country that he got to experience, the testament of unify power of music has once again been defined. It pushed back cultural differences, borders, races and styles. It transcend beyond language and we are glad that most artists are proving this with several awesome collaborations hitting our playlists and screen every now and then. 

Constant collaborations and cross-genre pollinations will indeed raise awareness for the fans of both worlds and solidify “Afrobeats” print in the massive Asian market. The musical synergy is constantly breaking the rules and rewriting history, we cannot wait to see the global eruption party of Afrobeats as soon as possible.