Ever so often, within conversations about African music, there is an exclusion of non-Nigerian and ultimately, West African artists in the discourse. At times, it has created discontent with artists from other African countries who believe that they are treated with far less respect than is afforded to their Nigerian counterparts. While the Coachella 2020 lineup does not feature any of the names many would have expected, there is still a flurry of African artists on the bill including Aya Nakamura, Black Coffee, Seun Kuti and Sampa the Great.
As afrobeat has earned a lease of life in the West, we’ve seen African artists slowly get incorporated into the festival. Last year, Mr Eazi and Burna Boy performed at the festival and in 2018, Wizkid was on the bill but ended up a no-show. Seun Kuti, will become the first Nigerian repeat performer at the festival. His first Coachella booking was eight years ago when many of the other artists we’ve seen over the past few years were relatively unknown or just breaking onto the scene.
It is also great to see that women are being given a platform with Australian-Zambian singer, Sampa the Great and Malian indigene Aya Nakamura both featuring on the bill.
This year’s edition of Coachella will be headlined by Frank Ocean, Travis Scott and rock band, Rage Against the Machine