The Spotify Afrobeats Celebration event which took place on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th of October brought together an array of esteemed guests and dignitaries which included some of the movers and shakers of the Nigerian and Afrobeats pop culture- with some of the biggest podcasters, music executives, musicians, media personalities, and music enthusiasts all present at the two-day experiential event.
The event was chronologically calibrated: #SpotifyPodcastsLagos and #SpotifyAfrobeats, taking place at La Madison Place, Lekki, Lagos.Lagos is known to be the reputable “Center of Afrobeats”- a coining earned since the very inception of Afrobeats dating back to the early 1980s.
Spotify held the event to showcase and celebrate the rich culture of Afrobeats and the mind-blowing laurels achieved through the umbrella genre over the years.
To kickstart the event proper, Spotify’s Managing Director (Sub-Saharan Africa district), Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, gave a profound and fundamental speech in which she assured the overall commitment of the giant streaming platform as regards connecting music aficionados with dynamic and quality music.
She further duly noted and reinforced the dogged dedication of Spotify to the growth of the Nigerian and African sonic ecosystem at large.
Ncebakazi Manzi, Spotify’s Podcast Manager for Sub- Saharan Africakicked off the day with a masterclass session. The masterclass also involved a feedback session that allowed for the engagement of podcast enthusiasts, present at the workshop.
They discussed the peripherals of quality storytelling and the perks of exploring innovation and ingenuity in the podcast-telling craft. Ncebakazi then rounded off with Spotify’s overall commitment to empowering talented and enthusiastic podcast creators in Africa- irrespective of background and other trivial metrics.
It was then preceded with a fireside chat, facilitated by Gwenevier Ehimen Lem, from the Association of African Podcasters and Voiceover Artists (APVA). The panel included Tony Doe Onwuchekwa (Into The Podverse and Tony Doe Media) Dami Aros (So Nigerian), Ayomide Tayo (Loose Talk) and Fay Fay (Naija Podhub).
For the afternoon session, music journalist, and Afrobeats Intelligence Podcast founder, Joey Akan had a live podcast recording with Victor Okpala (Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnership Manager for West Africa) as his guest where they discussed the mechanics of Spotify’s playlisting.
To round off the evening, Feyikemi Abudu and Jolla Ayeye from the ‘I Said What I Said,” podcast had guests of , Nissi ( popular Afrobeats singer, entrepreneur, and intellectual), and Pheelz (Music producer, and Artist, Pheelz) for their own live podcast recording. Pheelz closed the curtain on the day with an invigorating musical performance, including making an Afrobeats song live on stage with some of the audience members.
The second day of the experiential event was lit up with a bubbling crowd of young and vibrant music enthusiasts who were prepared for a thriller-filled evening. The evening began with a colorful green carpet or ‘Spotify carpet’ ceremony that was beautifully embedded with amazing decorations that further added color to the event.
On the green carpet, prolific media personality and podcaster Taymesan interviewed the various guests who came for the event. Shortly, resident disk jockey, Dj Tohbad then kicked things in motion with his eclectic sets filled with a dynamic mix of popular Afrobeats records that subsequently brought the roof down ( figuratively, of course ).
Following suit were musical performances from the headlining acts: Bloody Civilian, Fave, Shallipopi, and Ruger who each brought their A-Game, setting the crowd on a frantic frenzy whenever they performed their hit records.
Ultimately, Spotify’s Afrobeats Celebration was not just a music event, it was a celebration of culture, diversity and the power of music to unite people. With 15 billion streams and counting in 2023, Spotify continues to shape the future of the music industry. This journey has just begun, and we can’t wait to see where it leads.