t’s quite exciting and incandescently stimulating to see the huge presence of African music on the world stage. Like the gold scramble of old, it appears Western and American artists have developed a special taste for African music flavour. It is therefore no surprise when budding music star, Fatimehin Abiodun a.k.a Bonzlight declares that American artists cannot do without African music stars.
“African music has come a long way. Right now, US artists can’t even do without African artists. Check out the latest movie, Black Panther, many of the songs in the movie were written by Nigerians and Africans. Look at the nominations in the yet to come Grammy Awards, most of the songs nominated all have Africans involved , like the songs Tems did with DJ Khalid, also Burna Boy and Wizkid are forces to reckon with. I will say Afrobeats is what we should stick to, it’s not just Nigerian it’s the whole Africa. Afrobeats is ruling the world of music right now,” he declares.
It is exciting to see artists from different styles of music and cultures coming together to create a jam. Music collaborations between African singers and those from the USA and UK are nothing new, and it is pleasing to see their continued increase in recent years.
In recent times mega hits have been concocted from Afro-Western music collaborations. Some of them are: “Own It”: Stormzy featuring Burna Boy and Ed Sheeran; Attention”: Omah Lay and Justin Bieber; “Peru”: Fireboy DML and Ed Sheeran; “Monalisa”: Lojay, Sarz and Chris Brown; My Oasis”: Sam Smith featuring Burna Boy; Somebody’s Son”: Tiwa Savage featuring Brand; “African Beauty”: Diamond Platnumz featuring Omarion and Come Closer”: Wizkid featuring Drake amongst others.
Bonzlight also noted that the South African genre known as Amapiano is fast winning international hearts and may throw a huge challenge at the Nigerian home-brew Afrobeats. He however pointed out that Afrobeats is like a wine that grows better with time.
“Amapiano is on another level of its own and South Africans are really riding on that wave. However Afrobeats has been here decades now, that’s our West African wave , nice to hear something new and different though,” he says
Bonzlight describes his music as a special one, saying it is a fusion of modern pop and Afrobeats. He said elements of Fuji and Juju are so much enshrined in his genre of music because he grew up listening to the likes of King Sunny Ade, Commander Ebenezer Obey, K1 De Ultimate and Late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
“My music is a fusion of what I grew up listening to, KSA, K1 De Ultimate, Fela and Obey. It is a blend of modern pop and Afrobeats sound. It’s a special blend created by me, and it’s different and it’s my unique sound. I do Afrobeats with a fusion of anything with an African sound. I don’t think artists should stick to one sound, you should experiment, just like Davido moved from Naija Afrobeats to South African sound. I like the way he is flexible. There are 2Baba and Sound Sultan, may his soul rest in perfect peace.My music is like that but with more fusion of Fuji and Juju,” he said.
Bonzlight has to his credit songs like “Update” featuring Eleniyan & Stunna. Others are Smooth Operator, African Girl, Stronger and I Pray.
He is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirate and he is from Ondo State.