Afrobeats is a genre of music that originated in West Africa and has gained global recognition in recent years. One notable trend in the Afrobeats scene is the increasing number of collaborations between male and female artists, and these collaborations have produced some of the genre’s biggest hits that cannot be omitted when discussing Afrobeats.
These collaborations have helped to create a more diverse and inclusive music scene, while also introducing the artist’s unique styles to their audience. These artists touch on topics like love, relationships, politics, and challenges of life, and they are infused in the verses which is a dialogue between the duo. The collaborations between these artists have helped in promoting gender equality.
Female artists in some cases are allowed to showcase their talents and also gain international recognition when the song goes viral internationally. The music industry has been blessed with a plethora of male and female collaborations, but few of these collaborations are too iconic to be overlooked. Some of these collaborations will be enumerated below.
1. Lagbaja and Ego
Let’s throw it back to the iconic duo that ruled the early 2000s music scene. Lagbaja and Ego are both Nigerian musicians who have collaborated on several occasions, and they eventually became known as a pair. There is no doubt of the nostalgic feeling that hits whenever their songs hit the stereo.
Lagbaja is known for his unique style of music which he calls “Africano” – a fusion of Afrobeat, Jazz, Highlife, and traditional Yoruba music. His music often carries social and political, and romantic messages, and he is known for his signature mask which he wears to conceal his identity. Ego, on the other hand, is a singer and songwriter who is known for her soulful and emotive voice. Her music is a blend of traditional Igbo music, Highlife and contemporary pop.
The duo managed to infuse each other’s style into hit singles, and their different styles merged perfectly to create a unique sound, with Lagbaja’s instrumental arrangement incorporated into the songs, while Ego delivered high notes with her powerful vocals. ‘Never Far Away’ which was released in 2006 was one of the most popular collaborations from the duo.
Ego eventually went solo in 2007, but their collaborations still linger in the memories of music lovers years after. Their music was a fusion that gave meaning to the diversity and richness of Nigerian music.
2. Falz and Simi
This duo were so good that they sparked dating rumours in the music industry. Falz and Simi complemented each other on songs they delivered, with Falz delivering punchlines, while Simi blessed our ears with her soft euphonious tune.
‘Jamb Question’ which was released in 2015, was the first song that introduced the talented duo to the world, and it resulted in earning them a lot of fans. The duo followed up with ‘Soldier’ which rocketed their career, especially with the storyline infused in the music video.
Falz and Simi eventually released a joint EP ‘Chemistry’ in 2016, and it took Simi getting married to the love of her life ‘Adekunle Gold’ to convince fans that the duo were indeed not an item. This collaboration is one of the few collaborations that remain at the top of the list in the music industry.
3. Wizkid and Tems
The new era of Afrobeats got to witness a collaboration that produced one of the biggest global hit songs. The duo joined forces to produce ‘Essence’ which was a massive success internationally and locally. The song which was released in October 2020 was tagged the song of the summer, and it also graced Barack Obama’s favorite songs of 2020 playlist.
‘Essence’ was included in Wizkid’s fourth studio album ‘Made In Lagos,’ and it was one of the standout tracks on the album. The song’s smooth Afrobeats rhythm, combined with Tems’ soulful vocals and Wizkid’s melodic flow made it a fan’s favourite.
The song charted on the Billboard Hot 100 USA and also got nominated for the Grammys, with the music video amassing over 140 million views on YouTube. It also got a 3x platinum RIAA certification which gave the Wikid FC bragging rights. The collaboration was a perfect decision as it helped in boosting Tem’s profile, and cemented Wizkid’s status as one of the biggest artists in the Afrobeats genre.
Overall, WizKid and Tems’ collaboration on “Essence” is a testament to the power of teamwork and the creative possibilities that can arise when two talented artists come together to create something special.
4. Davido and Fave
Davido and Fave’s collaboration on the hit single ‘Kante’ has been well-received by fans, and it has also earned Fave new fans. The song, which was released in March 2023, as one of the tracks on Davido’s fourth studio album ‘Timeless,’ is a fusion of Afrobeats and R&B, with both artists showcasing their vocal abilities.
Fave, who is a fast-rising sensation in the Nigerian music industry, delivers a memorable hook on the song, while Davido dropped catchy verses that complement the song’s smooth and groovy beat which provided the perfect backdrop for their vocals.
The song showcased the unique talent of the artists and also their strengths. The collaboration has also helped in introducing Fave to a new audience that has applauded her style of music. Fans look forward to more collaborations between the duo.
5. Wizkid and Tiwa Savage
Before Wizkid and Tems, there was WizKid and Tiwa Savage. These artists are two of the biggest names in Nigerian music, and their collaboration on the single ‘Ma Lo’ in 2017 was a major success. The song’s catchy melody, infectious beat, and the chemistry between the two artists were some of the key factors that contributed to its success.
“Ma Lo” is a fusion of Afrobeats, R&B, and pop, with WizKid and Tiwa Savage delivering memorable verses and an infectious hook. The friendship between the duo was evident in the way they complemented each other’s vocals, and their chemistry in the music video. The music video currently has over 64 million views on YouTube.
The collaboration also helped to solidify WizKid and Tiwa Savage’s status as two of the biggest and most talented artists in the Nigerian music industry. Tiwa Savage also played Wizkid’s love interest in his 2018 hit song ‘Fever.’