Afro B was an Afrobeats producer and DJ who saw the opportunity to capitalise on the momentum created by the pandemic. Heading into the worldwide shutdown, the forefather of Afrobeats and Afrowave genres has one of the biggest singles on the planet in “Drogba (Joanna).”
Afro B, who has much of the globe free from restrictions, is on the road again and embarking on a North American tour to promote his Afro Beats genre that draws its inspiration from Latin American music and the Caribbean.
Afro B worked with Chris Brown, French Montana and Gashi during his early years. In addition to being named the “rising Afrowave King,” Afro B has already lined up 350 million streams of “Drogba.”
Afro B discusses his music, fame and other topics in an interview with The Source
What is the best way to get started in music for people just starting out?
Afro BThis all started at church. My parents were then preaching. She forced me to learn the piano so that I could join the church choir. So that’s where the passion kind of spiked. While in college, I learned how to DJ, and was able to promote my age group of 16, 17-year-olds. This led me eventually into singing. It was probably six years ago. It was six or seven years ago that I had my first single and would be actively promoting it. So I’ll be deejaying and plugging my songs there, or I’ll throw an event and perform at my own event and play my songs on the radio too.
Well, that’s dope. Your business was basically a machine that you could label and operate. You gained a new appreciation of both business and craft from doing this.
This is how I believe I saw the market differently by starting with this approach. I didn’t realize what I was doing at the time. My thinking was not limited to how I could reach the masses or the people around me.
Examining today, your single “DROGBA (Joanna)” it’s out of here. Literally, for years, I can’t go anywhere without hearing it and it’s not going anywhere. Is it possible to produce a single person of this caliber? And for your culture to spread around the world through music culture?
Artists all want to perform the same song for their entire lives. So I’m glad I got that very early in my career. This song opened doors for me and it will make it easier to break through for future songs.
Afro Beats is slowly dying out. In America, we’re having whole festivals. What can you tell us about our progress as a leader in this field?
When I arrived in New York, my song was being played on the radio approximately every 10 minutes, that was my first clue. That’s when it hit me because I’m from London, I don’t know what’s happening on that on the other side. That’s what made me press the gas on this song and led me to keep it going as long as possible.
How is London like? Is the reception to your career so large that you can’t walk down the street?
London was the first to adopt it. So by the time it got so America, we in London was like okay, we’ve been there, done that. But that American reaction really made London go “this is our guy, you guys are late.” But they are also happy for me.
You’re on tour, touching Miami, Chicago, plenty of places in America. What was the adjustment like, particularly after a prolonged pandemic?
It takes me a lot of effort to reach you, but I’m not stupid. I’m very level-headed. Maybe it’s the way I was raised that the popularity or fame or whatever you want to call it, maybe doesn’t really mean anything to me. I’m just happy that I’m just having fun. Enjoy the moment. I’m here to spread culture, everything else just comes with it.
How did you find your creativity when you couldn’t travel?
It is totally different. Now, I focus more on melody and vibe. So I don’t need to be in a specific environment or have specific experiences to make a song. Cause during the pandemic, that’s probably the best music I’ve ever made.
We want to know what you can expect for the end of this year.
I’m aiming for one more single and then a project next year, it’s back to back. It’s basically pandemic music, the whole two years I’ve been recording the music, mastering my craft. The pandemic was a blessing in disguise because I wasn’t flying around and it allowed me to focus and create new music.