UK’s first official Afrobeats chart launched by BBC Radio 1Xtra

Written by Konrad Ostrowski

BBC Radio 1Xtra has announced it will be launching The Official UK Afrobeats Show on Sunday alongside a weekly Top 20 chart highlighting the best artists in the genre.

To mark the launch, J Hus has been named as the UK’s top Afrobeats artist of the last 12 months based on streaming data and sales. He’s followed by Burna Boy, NSG and Yxng Bane.

Mark Strippel, head of programmes at 1Xtra, said the chart was “much-needed and long overdue.”

J Hus. Image Credit: Redferns Copyright: Burak Cingi

The Afrobeats genre has seen a fast growth in popularity in the UK over the last decade and has come to feature heavily in the charts.

It has its origins in Nigeria and Ghana and is often identified by the focus on drum beat rhythms, both instrumental and electronic.

British-Ghanaian artist Fuse ODG has attempted to create a new image of Africa through Afrobeats music.

His movement TINA (This Is New Africa) “urges Africans in the Motherland and the diaspora to use their skills to rebuild their community and show the world the more beautiful side of Africa.”

The introduction of a specific Afrobeats chart is significant in displaying the fusion of British and West African culture which is present on the UK music scene.

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