Yemi Alade, the Nigerian singer, says downplaying the role of Afrobeats in the development of music artistes is “hypocrisy”.

Afrobeats has been one of Africa’s biggest exports in the past years. In 2023, Afrobeats enjoyed massive global recognition, with top Nigerian artistes like Wizkid, Davido and Burna Boy — among others — gracing the stages of some of the biggest events and occasions worldwide.

But Wizkid recently sparked controversy after he asked the public not to label him an “Afrobeats artiste”.

The ‘Essence’ hitmaker said although he is African, he “makes all sorts of music”.

He said referring to every song as Afrobeats is why Nigerian artistes are only nominated in “African categories” of music awards like the Grammys.

Similarly, Burna Boy, in 2022, said his style of music is called Afrofusion, and not Afrobeats as assumed.

In a post via her Instagram story on Wednesday, Alade said African artistes are free to define their music genre.

The songstress, however, advised her colleagues not to downplay the role of Afrobeats in their development.

“I don’t see anything wrong in informing your listeners of the genre of music an artist makes especially when you feel it doesn’t define your art,” she said.

“Just announce your genre in peace. Downplaying the role Afrobeats has played in every artist’s development is hypocrisy.”

Alade is arguably one of the top female artistes in the country. She gained fame with the release of ‘Johnny’, her 2014 single.

The songstress is known for delivering her songs in English, Yoruba, and French languages.

She won the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMAs) for Best Female in 2015 and 2016.