Afrobeat was developed in Nigeria in the late 1960s by Fela Kuti who, with drummer Tony Allen, experimented with different contemporary music of the time. Afrobeat was influenced by a variety of genres, such as highlife, fuji, and jùjú, as well as Yoruba vocal traditions, rhythm, and instruments.
In 2005 Afrobeats breaks into the mainstream with the launch of MTV Base Africa. The first wave of artists featured include MI Abaga, Naeto C and Sarkodie. It's the first major platform for Afrobeats artists, though language barriers and a lack of major label funding mean their success was limited.
Today Afrobeats gets its distinct sound from a couple of different influences. The style is anchored in West African music styles, particularly highlife music. American jazz and funk are also added to the mix, creating a hybrid sound from across continents.
Afrobeats rise is a testament to the strengthening ties between Africa and its diaspora. Technology has shrunk the world.