Music and Culture: On keeping it African

Is it just me? Or you can as well tell when a song is African, based on the contents of music such as the sound, rhythm, beat, language or lyrics, costume, setting and values displayed through music, which can also be considered elements of culture. Music and Culture are similar, although it is a different ball game to keep it African. It is also very essential to have an understanding of the two basic concepts.

The power of music and culture influences a person’s mood and speech and interrelationship among the various ethnic groups and religious groups that exist in Africa. Through music, the various cultures have been brought together to unite and enhance the relationship that thrives in the African continent.

In a chat with an African artist, Yemi Alade whose recent album covers the entirety of Africa, she gave her own perspective on how music and culture are intertwined and can be kept African:

“Music and culture are the core of any society, music is necessary for almost all occasions and is definitely ‘soul food’ while cultural values guide us in the way we carry ourselves. Culture is most times a binding factor rather than a divider and the employment of African accessories is what makes and keeps music African”.

To promote the beauty of Africa, musicians, entertainers and artistes have all been able to imbibe the various elements of culture into the contents of their own music. Just the way culture has impact on every single aspect of some people’s lives, music has its own impact on some aspects of people’s lives.

Despite the westernised nature of the african music industry, there are still many other musicians as well as entertainers that are sticking to the path of staying African in the industry and their music.

Photo Credit: Emeka Photography.

Bibiana Ossai © 2016.


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