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Distancing oneself from the genre, Rema tells coworkers, “We’re all under afrobeats

Divine Ikubor, aka Rema, a well-known singer from Nigeria, has stated that regardless of what genre he and his peers choose to label their musical genres, they will all still congregate under the afrobeats umbrella for award shows.

This was the ‘Calm Down’ singer’s declaration as he accepted the 2023 Headies Award for Best Male Artiste of the Year on Sunday in Atlanta, USA.

“I must say it is crucial that I should let everyone know that I’m not here due to the awards,” Rema said. I’m here because I believe it’s crucial to defend our institutions. And when I said institutions, I mean the bodies that support you to be able to achieve these major successes; the media houses, award organisers, you know.

We are in a very delicate time; if we don’t focus on our institutions, we risk losing this opportunity. And we will never have this chance again.

“Be it afrorave, afro this, afro that, last last, we go jam for afrobeats award. So, this is our chance. We [afrobeats artists] are not the first to do it. Reggae has done it before.”

His comment is against the backdrop of Burna Boy and some of his colleagues denouncing the afrobeats tag on the grounds that they don’t want to be “boxed”, and it (afrobeats) “lacks substance.”

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