The Forgotten African Music Beats


The world has over the years developed in all its aspects; from technology, culture, governance, architecture, even in one of the most social facets, music. One generation after another, music has evolved from the ancient times to what we are experiencing in today’s genres. We all have different tastes, but one thing remains common, music is food for the soul.

The Forgotten African Music Beats
For the younger generation, Rock, Hip-hop/Rap, blues, R&B/Soul, Jazz, and Reggae, make a few of the tunes celebrated with a modern touch. Unless you have been lucky enough to have interacted with your great grandparents, you may, like most of us have no idea that there existed some stimulating music rhythms especially in Africa. It is in this backdrop, that , Africa’s leading online hotel booking website, seeks to revisit some of the wonderful but forgotten African Music Beats.

The traditional Taarab music in East Africa’s Kenya and Tanzania was relayed in poetic Swahili melodies that easily melted the hearts of its lovers. With deep-rooted messages of love especially, Taarab is certainly still a favorite in the Kenyan Coast. Some exploration heralds an astoundingly rich ethnic music scene, which was portrayed by the likes of Prof. Juma Bhalo, popularly referred to as the ‘Golden Voice’.

The traditional Taarab which was often accompanied by traditional music instruments gave an exotic feel of pleasure and enjoyment to its singers and listeners. However, despite having been firmly rooted in the past, traditional Taarab has been overshadowed by the evolution of modern Taarab, a modification of the old accompanied by modern and sophisticated instruments.

Far to the West of Africa, another traditional music beat has slowly been lost to the past. Afrobeat, a musical style influenced by Felá Kuti, is a complex fusion of jazz, funk, Ghanaian/Nigerian highlife, psychedelic rock and traditional West African chants and rhythms. By all accounts, Fela’s performances were exciting spectacles, but his music, though still lingering in the memories of many West Africans; is no longer imbedded in today’s playlists.

If our forefathers were to go to a club today, they would be forgiven for thinking they are in a completely different world. Contemporary music and dance has changed how music was played and danced to in the bygone days. Disco was a popular genre of dance music that we probably happened to hear our parents speak of, while recalling their youthful years. It contains elements of Rhythm & Blues, funk, soul, pop, and salsa. Disco became popular among African club-goers during the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. Unfortunately, this gem that was once a favorite of many has since become extinct, for lack of a better word.

We may not be able to exhaust the whole list at once. Perhaps you too need a breather to reflect and revisit some of these African beats that have long since been erased from our generation’s playlist. If you thought all you knew today is the best there is, remember there is more to the old time African music that is worth exploring; it will no doubt elicit an almost palpable excitement.