Fuse ODG on BBC Newsnight

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Earlier this month, British-Ghanaian afro-beats singer Fuse ODG gave an interview on the BBC’s Newsnight show regarding changing people’s perception about Africa which is mainly influenced by the media. Fuse made his debut in the UK in 2013, and has had three hit singles which were Azonto, Antenna, Million Pound Girl.

In the interview, he spoke about how growing up, the general view on Africa from his peers was usually one that contained negative concepts like famine, poverty and corruption. Even though many of the nations in Africa are low-income countries and are underdeveloped, as with anywhere in the world there are good and bad sides of the continent- however the good version of Africa never seems to be spoken about. For example, the fact that South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria are among the top 50 countries with the highest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the world.

Rather annoyingly, he continuously made statements that generalised Africa such as, “I took a trip back to Africa”, which seemed quite ignorant considering the fact that Africa is the second largest continent in the world and is made up of over 50 countries. Yet he was able to talk about the UK and didn’t refer to it as Europe…

His new movement ‘TINA’ which stands for This Is New Africa, encourages Africans all around the world to work together to showcase Africa’s beauty and to change the general view of the continent so that it becomes a place associated with positivity. However, in his attempt to do this, it seems like he is one of many new afro-beats artists who are contributing to the decline of traditional African music.┬áIn our previous blog post on Singing Wells, we talked about how Western influences have had quite a negative effect on the preservation of traditional African music.

Check out the interview below.

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