It has to be a testament to the power of Afrobeats that even Shatta Wale is embracing the wonder genre.
Ghana’s self-styled king of dancehall has built a highly successful career on the Jamaican sound. He has numerous awards under his belt, a huge number of releases and legions of adoring fans. His fans are so ardent, in fact, that in Ghana he moves with a team of security guards and tells me he can only drive around the capital city, Accra, at night.
Shatta Wale is nothing if not a straight-talker, and has made a fair few disparaging comments about Nigerians and their music in the past.
But despite this, he has teamed up with Nigerian artists Tekno and Bankuli to come up with his first Afrobeats album. It’s called Konekt and it is coming soon, though the release date is to be confirmed. But the first single from it, Incoming, has just been revealed.
“I don’t want to be hard on this journey that I want to pursue,” he told the BBC. “I want to be loving… I want people to really see my fun side, my hilarious moments, my happiness. I just want people to know that I am happy now and I want to share that with the world.
“Afrobeats is doing good right now – shout out to Burna [Boy], Wiz[kid], Davido and Tiwa Savage.
“It’s like I’ve graduated from dancehall. I just want to feed the fans with what is currently happening so they can all enjoy good music.”
It remains to be seen whether the devoted Shatta fans will embrace the change or feel betrayed. Incoming is a good song though, so Shatta Wale will surely pick up new admirers along the way.