Audio

Is Alicia Keys’ New Single Afrobeats?

A half-baked case for the 'afrobeats' influences in Alicia Keys' new single "In Common."

Alicia Keys recently came out with her new single “In Common” ahead of her performance on Saturday Night Live.


The track, produced by Illangelo, is a light composition built on shuffling rhythms and a bouncing bassline that has our whole office wondering if “In Common” is basically an ‘afrobeats’ song.

We already know Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz have been listening to their fair share of Nigerian pop lately. Swizz recently collaborated with MC Galaxy and has posted tons of clips of himself and Alicia Keys getting down to Wizkid, Skales, and other Nigerian acts on his Instagram.

This song makes me happy??? #goodvibes @wizkidayo ????

A video posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on

They're definitely aware of the ‘afrobeats’ wave and that influence can be felt in the track’s syncopated beat work and some of Alicia Keys’ own vocal cadences.

Maybe it's the single's Toronto-based producer Illangelo, who’s worked with The Weeknd and Drake, who absorbed some of the vibes from “One Dance.”

Or maybe we can just chalk it up as another increasingly common instance of American pop stars taking cues from African and Caribbean rhythms (see: “Work,” "Hotline Bling").

For what it's worth, the press release that accompanied the song actually credits a "Latin inspired rhythm," but I mean, listen to that snare.

The only thing we know for sure is Snoop Dogg’s feeling it:

New @aliciakeys my OG @snoopdogg said this shit make me move in a different way cuz??????????????????????????

A video posted by therealswizzz (@therealswizzz) on

Music
(YouTube)

The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Black Sherif, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, M3NSA x M.anifest, and more.

As the summer winds down releases have slowed down just a tad, but it's nothing to fear because a number of our Ghanaian music faves are in album mode, and it's only a matter of time before they let loose! In the meantime the rest of our faves have been steady dishing out that fire, making for another month of dope releases. Want the scoop? Check out the best Ghanaian songs of the month below!

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 7 Best East African Songs of the Month (July)

Featuring Nandy, Juicee Mann, Alikiba, Diamond Platnumz and more.