Obi Asik and SMADE both saw the power and influence of Afrobeats, but realized that there were not many platforms and events for artists of the genre to share their music with fans. The two Nigerian-born businessmen decided to partner and create Afro Nation, a festival and music experience that highlights the culture and music of Afrobeats.
After successful events in Ghana, Portugal, Puerto Rico, and Miami, Afro Nation will take the cultural celebration to Detroit on Aug. 19 and 20.
Here are five reasons to travel to Detroit and experience Afro Nation.
Features The World’s Top Afrobeat Artists
Afro Nation Detroit will highlight some of the world’s top Afrobeat artists and DJs such as Burna Boy, Davido, P-Square, Kizz Daniel, and DJ Maphorisa. The history-making Burna Boy became the first African artist to have at least 100 million streams on Spotify and recently became the first African artist to sell out Madison Square Garden. In April 2023, Davido became the first African artist to top the U.S. iTunes charts with his album, “Timeless.”
Features Top Artists of Hip-Hop, R&B, and Soul
While the culture and sounds of Afrobeats will remain prominent throughout the two-day festival, top-selling artists in hip-hop, R&B, and soul will also take the stage. Hip-hop artist Latto and the soulful Ari Lennox will take the main stage on Aug. 19. And Coi Leray and Masego will perform on the main stage on Aug. 20.
Beyond The Stage
Afro Nation will also feature cultural events beyond the stage. Attendees can take part in panel discussions, the Laughing Leopard Comedy Show, a Motown Special, and a Block Party.
Afro Nation will take place at the Bedrock’s Douglass site, formerly the Brewster-Douglass Housing projects. The complex was once home to notable artists such as Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, Lily Tomlin and Etterlene DeBarge, matriarch of the DeBarge family.
Experience Detroit’s Music Culture
Along with Afro Nation, visitors to Detroit can take time to experience the city’s rich music history. Sites to visit include the Motown Museum, the Motown mansion in the Boston-Edison district, and the historic Cliff Bell’s jazz club built in 1935.
For more information on Afro Nation Detroit, visit Detroit.Afronation.com.
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