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From Western Pop to Afrobeats: The Globalisation of Music

Over the past decade, the borders between different music genres have fallen, as many artists from different countries are starting to collaborate more and more with each other. This is making many singers, producers, or songwriters from different countries, cultures, and music genres become global artists. So, how did this happen? Is this a good or a bad thing?

Firstly, the main reason for the globalisation of music is social media, as it enables people from all over the world to interact in a matter of seconds. This makes music more accessible and makes it that much easier for artists to be found and recognized for their talents. As a result, this has opened many people's minds and led them to want to explore new genres of music from different cultures. The increasing popularity of music festivals is also a factor that contributes greatly to the globalisation of music since each country that hosts these festivals also has its national artists that participate in it, which opens foreigners to new cultures through their music and many people seem to like this.

Some examples of different cultures that have been shared through music that are becoming more mainstream are:

  • Latin pop - Many people have been attracted to this genre, with its vibrant sound and dance-oriented nature that makes songs addictive and fun to listen to. Some artists that are famous in this genre include Bad Bunny, J Balvin, Maluma, Shakira, and many more.

  • Afrobeats - This genre has only recently emerged into the main music scene, greatly due to Rema's "Calm Down", with Selena Gomez. However, it has always been there and gained attention due to its unique beats, infectious rhythms, and feel-good vibes.

  • K-pop - K-pop is fairly new, and it has gained a lot of popularity with its catchy rhythms, melodies, and intricate choreographies. Some of the most famous groups include BTS, Blackpink, Twice, and most recently, NewJeans.

It can be seen that all of these different genres still have one thing in common: they are happy to embrace their culture and show that people are interested in finding new music. Each genre is very distinct and authentic, which shows the amount of possibilities there are when listening to music that we probably never knew before. This is making the pop genre become a very vague one, as the public is slowly becoming bored with it because of its formulaic nature, and we are seeing many types of music becoming popular and topping the charts. Many genres even have their own category in music award shows, so that they feel included in the global music scene. Nevertheless, it is still clear who is still in control over the music industry, as many of these genres have gained a lot of popularity due to artists' collaborations with artists from the USA or who are signed to a record label from the USA.

When it comes to discussing if the globalisation of music is good or bad, there really is no right answer, as this is subjective. On the good side, many people are becoming more open to expanding not only their music tastes but also their knowledge of different cultures. This may also encourage other artists to share their own cultures through their music. One negative effect that is often mentioned when talking about globalisation in general though, is that just like boundaries between music genres have been breaking, some people fear that music will become one big thing and that there will be a loss of traditional music cultures. However, every song is different, so it is unlikely for that to happen, at least for now.


  • Hilton, Robin, et al. “The 2010s: The Globalization Of Music : All Songs Considered.” NPR, 31 October 2019, Accessed 30 September 2023.

  • Nilsson, Harry. “The Impact Of Musical Globalization.” Bright Star, 8 December 2022, Accessed 30 September 2023.

“Q&A: Afrobeats is 'one of Africa's biggest cultural exports.'” Al Jazeera, 27 June 2023, Accessed 30 September 2023.


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