The road to Yam Carnival: a review of the hottest Afrobeat artists

So, we’re a few days from Yam Carnival, set to be a finale event to what has been a deeply eventful summer. From the re-opening of the UK back in July from covid-19 restrictions, featuring every single type of day party, festival, and concert you can think of – we’ve tasted freedom and lived up to make up for lost time.

For many of us, that has included a soundtrack of Afrobeats to carry us through. This year alone we witnessed the amazingness of the well-known artists and those that are fast rising. And I’m extremely excited to see some of them at Yam Carnival, which is touted to be ‘a celebration of Black culture from across the globe.’  

And it’s obvious with ‘Davido’ headlining, this will happen. I look forward to hearing his infamous singing, where being far from the front of the crowd is not such a bad thing. I hope he performs recent hits such as’ FEM’, ‘Jowo’ and ‘Holy Ground’ which are much more mellow than his usual songs.

But I’m more gassed to hear my fellow Edo king Rema hit the stage. This young man, only 21 years old and hailing from Benin City, Nigeria has churned out hit after hit. From smashing the scene with ‘Dumebi’ in 2019, to his very sensual songs of ‘Soundgasm’ and the pulsating ‘Booty Bounce’ which will definitely get the crowd going. 

Then there’s Omah-lay, a Port Harcourt babe, who captivated us last winter with ‘Infinity’ and ‘Godly’ (one of the most played songs in Nigeria) and this year with ‘Damn’. Overall, it’s been a phenomenal couple of years for both artists and who have enlightened the scene with a new-age sound, singing about hardship, love, sex and passion. I can’t wait to finally see these two on a stage in London. And I’m intrigued to see what their stage presence will be amidst heavy hitters such as Yemi Alade and Fally Ipupa.

We also can’t ignore the presence of South Africa, with Focalistic performing too. His jam with Davido, the ‘Ke-Star’ remix is heavy with ampiano sounds, which I’m sure all the DJ’s will be playing throughout the festival. Finally, Beenie Man will be leading on the ‘Carnival stage’ – which may seem a little odd with the African tilted line up. But we know Beenie Man is firmly on side, when he backed the beauty of Afrobeats during a recent interview with Zeze Mills.

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Yam Carnival, then, is looking to be a blast. This will be the first carnival/festival I would have been to in the last few years, and I have thoroughly missed it. I can’t wait to bust some legwork and do the palliative dance, with my fellow Afrobeat lovers – which will be more than 10,000 strong. Long live Afrobeats! 

Final tickets on sale here

Written Sosa Sharon

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