A British Council and Boiler Room partnership, Gateways Nigeria explores the contemporary music scene in Lagos and the connections between UK and Nigerian music culture.We'll be releasing a series of films and features via Boiler Room and the Guardian from 4 August, featuring contributions and performances from Tony Allen, Giggs, Moses Boyd, Don Jazzy, and Mr Eazi, among others.
From the original Afrobeat fusion of highlife, jazz and funk, to the contemporary Afrobeats scene, Nigerian music has always had a global influence and resonance.
The music scene in Lagos is constantly evolving and being informed by other genres from round the world, and among the sounds making waves in the city currently are Grime and Road Rap from the UK. Over a decade since first emerging in East London, Grime’s second wave breakthrough in recent years has seen its MCs and producers reaching new audiences, new levels of stardom and influencing music globally. Interestingly, we’ve also seen the emergence of UK Afrobeats in London, with British-Nigerian artists drawing from both spheres of their musical heritage and showcasing the rich potential and appetite for this musical synthesis.
Afrobeats, Grime and Road Rap undoubtedly share common ground and are increasingly influencing each other’s sounds, so as part of Gateways Nigeria we brought all of this together with a live session from Lagos featuring Giggs, Mr Eazi and DJ Neptizzle.
It’s difficult to overstate the global influence of Afrobeat music. Now, with the likes of Moses Boyd and Sons of Kemet spearheading one of the most progressive and exciting UK jazz movements for decades, we’re hearing the complex polyrhythms of their Afrobeat forefathers reinforcing their influence once more. Building on this legacy and connection between the generations, we asked Tony Allen to lead an Afrobeat drumming masterclass alongside Moses Boyd.
Gateways Nigeria aims to build on all of these cultural connections, creating links and opportunities for future collaborations between the UK and Nigerian musicians involved.