One Africa Music Fest Brings The Ultimate Afrobeats Party To Brooklyn

Live Reviews

The One Africa Music Fest was a night to remember for music lovers across the world.

As the breezy humidity lurked in the New York City air Friday night (July 22), thousands of concertgoers from various parts of America and world flocked to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in their best (and afrocentric-inspired) attire to hear jams from many of The Motherland’s most influential afrobeats artists.

Streamed live from the, the highly-anticipated inaugural event was kicked off by the master of ceremony Banky W and Nigeria’s own Praiz hit the stage first with numbers like “A Woman’s Need,” “Body Hot” and Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” WHO? took to the stage and got the show started. The baton was then passed on to Ghanaian afropop, dancehall and reggae artist Stonebwoy who got the crowd warmed up for what was to come with body moving jams like “BaaFira,” “Pull Up” and “Mightylele” with fellow artists/vocalist Efya.

Banky W (@bankywellington) held it down as the night’s host / MC (📷: @eboseta) #OneAfricaMusicFest #AboutLastNight

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After the U.N. Peace Ambassador SoundSultan kept the crowd going, the first lady of Nigeria’s Mavin Records, Tiwa Savage, took the stage to hold it down for the female African artists. With a crew of sexy dancers winding (because it’s all about the “African Waist”), Roc Nation’s newest roster addition performed fan favorites like “My Darling” and “Eminado” (with her home label’s founder, Don Jazzy).

@tiwasavage and the dancers move it… #OneAfricaMusicFest #AboutLastNight

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Tanzania’s DiamondPlatnumz held it down for East Africa with body moving performances of “Nakupenda,” “Make Me Sing” and his newest love anthem, “Kidogo” (featuring Nigeria’s P-Square). His Davido-assisted track “Number One” was sure to make the ladies want to break into the baikoko.

Shortly after New York City’s own DJ Self checked in with the crowd, Ayo Jay hit the stage with his heavily radio-rotated single, “Your Number.” But the classic highlight of the night was the tribute performance from the son of Fela Kuti (the afrobeat originator), Seun Kuti, who took fans back in time with his father’s record, “Zombie.”

@davidoofficial came to party #OneAfricaMusicFest #AboutLastNight

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Shortly after, the night’s energy sky-rocketed as afropop artist and RCA Records latest signee, Davido (and hypeman, Special Spesh) turned up the crowd with “Dami Duro”, “Skelewu” and the Olamide collaboration, “The Money.” O.B.O Baddest slowed it down with a crowd sing-a-long to his heart-melting, love record, “Aye.”

The ladies were gifted with a special (and eye-catching) treat from the smooth Flavour. Decked in an all-white suit showcasing his muscular, rock-solid midsection, the Nigerian debonaire serenaded the audience with the wedding favorite single, “Ada Ada,” the waist-moving “Adamma” and “Shake,” making the ladies in the audience move (or at least tap their foot, if they’re a gentleman).

Like we said. @2niteflavour = One suave mutha… #OneAfricaMusicFest #AboutLastNight

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The Upfront & Personal-orchestrated event carried on with Timaya, who brought more party vibes with “Sanko,” “I Concur,” and brought more dancehall vibes with a performance of “Bum Bum.” Trinadad’s Machel Montano took it away with “Bend Over,” “HMA (Happiest Man Alive)” and more, exemplifying why he is today’s “King of Soca.”

Decked in a crisp blue suit, the Nigerian-American musician known as Jidenna brought his roots to the stage with a Nigerian masquerade alongside him as he performed his hit single, “Classic Man,” “Some Kind Of Way,” and latest track, “A Little Bit More.” One highlight was when the Igbo-native jokingly reminisced on one of his late father’s inspiring quotes.

You should be him when you look this clean… @jidenna #OneAfricaMusicFest #AboutLastNight

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To cap off the eventful night, the fedora-clad headliner WizKid hit the stage and ran through some of his classic verses like the Ghanian ladies’ favorite, R2bees’ “Slow Down”, “Don’t Dull,” “Caro” and his hit chart-climbing collaboration with Drake, “One Dance.” The Star Boy Entertainment artist brought out Swizz Beatz for quick performances of the producer’s classic tracks like “On To The Next One” and “Party Up In Here.”

Although Wale was unable to make the historic event due to the birth of his first child, other celebrities rolled through to enjoy the vibe including Angela Simmons, Lil Mama, Lea Robinson, Justine Skye and Hot 97’s Ebro Darden. It’s safe to say that the inaugural concert brought the afrobeats party to New York City in a one-of-a-kind and special way. The 3 and a half-hour show ran smoothly with very minor hiccups. Everyone within the venue took part in one of the biggest parties in Brooklyn, New York. This will continue to be the talk of the town both in the United States and worldwide. From the looks of it, next year may turn out to be just as much of a “lituation.”

Relive the inaugural night above and below via