Thursday, October 1

Four Afrobeats songs make it to Barack Obama’s summer playlist 2020 – And they are all, save one, by or featuring Nigerian heavyweights

The Obama summer playlist of 2019 was heavy on Burna Boy featuring the hits “Nobody” and “Ye”. Barack Obama’s summer playlist 2020 has some Burna boy, Wizkid, Davido, Tems and Ghanaian artist Shatta Wale.

Poster titled "Barack Obama's summer playlist 2020 - Afrobeats review" with image of a street mural of a waving Obama in the background.
Background image by Lubo Minar on Unsplash. Image taken in Montmartre, Paris, France

Unlike the 2019 list, all the songs by African artists that feature are not solo acts but rather collabos. What does this say about African music in 2020? Well, it is the year of the collabos with Africa’s leading artists using the gift of collaboration to spread their wings globally.

Moreover, we can interpret this trend as affirming Afrobeats and Afro music as the biggest thing out there now. Some of the biggest names in the game from Jorja Smith, HER, Beyonce and Khalid want in. The result has been some stellar collaborations that Obama is bumping to this summer.

“Be Honest” by Jorja Smith featuring Burna Boy

Definitely our pick of songs featuring Afrobeats stars in Barack Obama’s summer playlist 2020. The vibes in this hit by British artist Jorja Smith featuring Nigerian dynamo Burna Boy just like summer weather, get’s one hot under the collar.

Watch “Be Honest” by Jorja Smith feat. Burna Boy on YouTube

“Smile” by Wizkid feat. HER

If ever there’s an injustice to Afrobeats fans in 2020, it has to be the delayed release of Wizkid’s fourth studio LP Made in Lagos. Obama picking the groovy and mature “Smile” by Wizkid featuring American Grammy award winner HER within weeks of its release only serves to remind us of what should be.

Read the Review: We’ve listened to it and WizKid’s new jam ‘Smile’ featuring H.E.R is at the tip of the trend…. Oh wait, shades of a ‘mature’ Wizkid, those?

Listen to “Smile” by Wizkid feat. HER on YouTube

“Know Your Worth (Remix)” by Khalid feat. Davido and Tems

Released in April of 2020, American singer-songwriter Khalid got 2018 BET “Best International Act” winner Davido, and the Nigerian reincarnation of Tracy Chapman, Tems, on the track.

The result has been described by OkayAfrica’s Rufaro Samanga as “a textured production which retains the laid-back feel of the original while fusing elements of Afrobeats and dancehall.”

Watch “Know your Worth (Remix)” by Khalid feat. Davido and Tems on YouTube

“Already” by Beyonce feat. Shatta Wale

The video to “Already” by Beyonce feat. Shatta Wale and the Jamaican-American electronic dance musical trio of record producer Diplo, and DJs Walshy Fire and Ape Drums, was released end of July 2020. It has already geared north of nineteen million views three weeks into August.

“Already” is part of the -ish -ish received musical visual album by the American star, Black is King, released on 31st July 2020. It is off the collaborative 2019 Lion King: The Gift album, which the “Queen of Africa” described as her “love letter to Africa”.

Watch “Already” by Beyonce feat. Shatta Wale on YouTube

In full: Obama summer playlist 2020


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