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Amaarae. Photo courtesy of the artist.

3 Moments That Defined My Journey As a Young Woman In Search of Herself & Her Purpose

Ghanaian artist Amaarae pens an original text exploring being a "black artist and a disruptive female voice in an industry dominated by men" and her new single "Like It."

Thank God Herself
A capsule of short stories.


Women are the purest source of divine energy. Without us, there is no life force and therefore no tools for man to create. As an artist, and most importantly a woman, the desire to tell stories through sound is bound to a singular goal: nurturing an environment for any and all kinds of women to liberate their souls, to free their inner-most desires and to embrace their best and worst selves. Below is a capsule of three unique moments that have defined my journey as a young woman in search of herself and her purpose. These moments have been pivotal to my understanding of this world and the space that I occupy in it as a black artist and a disruptive female voice in an industry dominated by men. Not all of these moments are solely unique to my human experience. Though some are expressed from my perspective, they are the stories of sisters, friends, and even strangers– All women. All honest accounts of life changing events. All written in different styles to honor each distinctive truth.

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Wizkid at Gidi Fest 2018. Photo: Tej/Gidi Culture Festival.

Call Us by Our Name: Stop Using "Afrobeats"

Op-Ed: To retain ownership of our culture we must insist on labelling popular African music correctly

To name something is to claim ownership. And with the Western music industry's long tradition of appropriation, ownership of Africa's latest export is something Africans on the continent cannot risk losing.

Currently, "Afrobeats" is used as a catch-all term for all popular music emerging from the African continent. The "Rise of Afrobeats" as numerous publications have coined the movement, has been marked by high profile features beginning with Wizkid on "One Dance," followed by a flurry of big record label signings stateside and more recently, interest from streaming giant Spotify, in the form of its recently announced Afro Hub section.

At last summer's BET Awards, Davido took to the stage to receive an award for Best International Act, beating out U.K. artists Stormzy and J Hus. After years of boycotting by past African winners, who were subjected to receiving BET awards backstage and in one instance even sharing an award, Davido's televised acceptance speech served as confirmation that African pop music was here to stay. But as the infectious music and vibrant artists behind it continue to gain global visibility, it is critical that Africans on the continent take the reins in steering its narrative. This begins by abandoning the "Afrobeats" label and appropriately naming the vastly different musical genres it refers to.

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