I’ve been residing in Illinois majority of my life and STILL have yet to hear afrobeats on any local radio station. The UK and Canada seemed to have gotten the memo but for some weird reason, Chicago is segregated when it comes to playing other genres of music.
I remember visiting Canada, hearing WizKid, Davido, Sarkodie and more African artists’ tunes playing back to back through the sound waves of the radio. I also remember how I screamed in shock and probably shattered a few glasses because it all seemed so surreal, while wondering why Chicago hadn’t hopped onto this trend.
Well now it appears that Chicago finally caught the wave, all thanks to Sheila O, an entertainment industry mogul and the show’s host. She made it possible for the first ever afrobeat radio show, Afrozons, to see the light, airing on Chicago’s Power 92.3 FM starting February 5th, just in time for Black History Month. The guest list for the show covers a wide range of key speakers, African bloggers, Top DJs and major industry movers and shakers.
For those who have no idea what “Afrobeats” is, it is a West-African style of music with distinct sounds from Fela Kuti, intertwined with hip-hop, ranges of tempos, conventions and rhythmic patterns finished off with high energy Naija beats. Afrobeats is in a state of constant evolution and has been largely played in prominent cities like Lagos and Accra.
Power 92 seems to be the perfect home for the show, especially since the radio station has been known for blazing the trail when it comes to the urban music scene.
“With the premiere of Afrozons we hope to get the whole community involved,” said DJ DeeMoney, major guest DJ on the show, along side DJ Pharris, DJ Bonsu, DJ Top Donn and others.
This new movement comes as huge news as top notch celebrities like Ciara, Sound Sultan, T-Pain, Don Jazzy, DJ Spinall, Basketmouth and more took to their social media to help spread the word.
Afrozons is also said to be taped, so it can be viewed on the show’s YouTube channel as well. To keep in tune with Afrozons – where hip-hop meets afrobeats, visit http://www.afrozons.com or follow your host Sheila O (@sheilaozons).