meek mill live concert

Meek Mill performs onstage on August 26, 2022.

Photo by Aaron J. Thornton/Getty Images

Meek Mill & Asake Join Afro Nation Ghana Line-Up

The biggest Afrobeats festival is making a grand return to Accra, Ghana at the end of the year.

Afro Nation has just announced two big new names who will be joining the festival's return home to Ghana.

Rap superstarMeek Millis the first American to join the bill, with this show marking his first major appearance in Africa following years of talking about visiting Ghana and the continent. A few days ago, Meek Mill was tweetingDavido (another Afro Nation headliner) about "getting a lot of calls from Africa" and making a show happen. The two stars collaborated back in 2015 for "Fans Mi."

In addition to him, Nigerian man-of-the-momentAsakehas joined the Afro Nation Ghana bill and will be bringing his energetic street pop to Accra. For more on the buzzing Asake, read our new feature on his unquestionable rise.

Afro Nation will be returning to Accra, Ghana in December for a two-day celebration of the core of Afrobeats and it's global dominance. The event will feature superstars likeDavido, P-square, Stonebwoy, and more and is scheduled for December 29th and 30th, 2022 at the Marine Drive Black Square.

The event was founded in 2013 by Obi Asake and Adesegun Adeosun Jr — who goes by SMADE — as a medium to push Afrobeats to the mainstream global consciousness. The festival launched in 2019 as a way to reconnect Africans in the diaspora to their roots, and secure African music and talent on the map. The event is collectively organized by Live Nation, Event Horizon, Smade Entertainment and Memories of Tomorrow. In a 2019 statement, Asika shared that the aim of the event was to give African artists a voice.

"One of our key aims is to create more live platforms where artists of African origin have an opportunity to headline and take centre stage," Asika said. "Afrobeats, Reggae and Dancehall are made for the sunshine, so its fitting Afro Nation has found its home on the beaches of Portugal. We strive to deliver world class production, facilities, service an entertainment to our customers."

The event has previously featured a vast variety of international artists across multiple genres, with a majority of the talents being African indigenes.

Burna Boy performing at Afro Nation

Photo Courtesy: Nathan Hetherington

In an interview with the Grammy Awards, Asake and SMADE talked about the inspiration to create Afro Nation. The duo underscored the fact that leading up to that point, Afrobeats had not gotten the recognition it deserved, in spite of being on the center stage.

"I think Obi and I, we noticed a lack of representation of our acts. We know how talented they are and how much work they put into their music, but we weren't seeing them on the big stages. So Obi and I came together and we were like, we're just going to do it ourselves. We didn't even think it was going to be this big," said SMADE.

Asake's background as a talent manager, and SMADE's expertise as a music promoter also gave the team of two the added leverage of creating a spark with the show and kick it off the ground.

"We struck up a partnership quite quickly, because SMADE is incredible. He was selling tickets for Afrobeats where all the big promoters weren't able to do it. We both obviously had a passion for this music, this genre, the culture because of our background. We struck up a partnership and we started having real successes, selling big tickets in London," said Asake of the early days of the event.

The show touched down in Portugal earlier this year, with a turnout of around 40,000 people. Other artists leading the charge this December in Accra are Gyakie, CKay and Adekunle Gold. More updates of the event are in the works. Ticket updates can be found here.