Following the most recent announcement and single from Beyonce in the past few weeks, the music industry has been on the edge of its seats. The album Renaissance is set to be released in July, and fans could not be more excited. The additional single that was released this month was an extra gift. Although this song has already reached significant popularity with its house music vibes and rhythm, other whispers of the song have been heard. According to some South Africans, the album cover and the song have significant similarities to that of well-known late South African artist Brenda Fassie.
It is not uncommon for celebrities to find inspiration or similarities between their music and African music. Most times, it is an intentional production. This is exactly what Beyonce showed in her previous album Black is King, and the soundtrack for the Lion King. She included several African features such as Yemi Alade, WizKid, and Busiswa. The album and musical performance was exciting, including music videos with African historical references and designs. This production was more intentional and showed the grace and beauty of African influence.
Other artists have had more subtle approaches by including samples of African beats or creating Afrobeat music. Jorja Smith, a British singer, dabbled in Amapiano last year, a popular genre in South Africa.
Drake has also recently released an album entirely produced by Black Coffe, a well-known South African House musician.
Therefore it is not uncommon to have these influences. Still, some may complain that celebrities are benefiting from African talent and the buzz. Before the buzz and westernization of the trends the same Africans and themes, would not have succeeded. Either way, African sounds have a permanent and rising influence on the music industry.
Whether or not Beyonce was locally inspired or intentionally made a connection to Brenda Fassie is something we might never know, but what’s more important is that we are inspired by these creative collaborations including the joy and the unity they bring. Indeed music transcends all borders and languages, and if we pay attention to the harmful noise, we might never access its potential as an instrument to achieve global unity and world peace.