Nigerian star, Davido and Ghanaian artist, Amoako have made the cut on the 2021 ‘Time100Next’ list.
The list highlights 100 people who are shaping their respective fields in business, entertainment, health and science, sports, and activism.
‘Time100Next‘ list is an extension of the Time100 list of most influential people each year.
Davido is one of the biggest voices in Afrobeats because his music connects with people, often in ways that transcend his expectations. When he released the song “FEM” in 2020, a title that loosely translates to “shut up” in Yoruba, he didn’t know it would become a major #EndSARS protest anthem, as youth banded together to demand the government take action to end police brutality in Nigeria last October. Officials responded by sending politicians to give speeches. We told the government to keep quiet unless they had something sensible to add—the ethos of “FEM” was directly relatable to that moment.
You can tell Davido puts 100% into every song he makes. And the results are clear: his album A Good Time surpassed a billion streams in 2020. Afrobeats is a worldwide phenomenon, and Davido is one of many Nigerian artists who has made that possible; now more and more artists, from Nicki Minaj to Young Thug, want to work with him.
By bringing Afrobeats to the global stage, he’s paved the way for people like me.
Read text written about Amoako Boafo by Cady Lang
Amoako Boafo is a rising art-world superstar.
The 36-year-old Ghanian artist’s work, characterized by bright colors and textured finger painting, highlights Black identity and the African diaspora with complexity and warmth: in the 2020 painting The Pink Background, for example, two men lean into each other as if posing for a photo, both clad in suits and standing before a rose-colored backdrop. This distinctive style has made him one of the world’s most in-demand artists, and won raves from Kehinde Wiley and Kim Jones, the artistic director of Dior Men, who launched a collaboration with him in 2020, making Boafo the first African artist to develop a line with the French fashion house.
Perhaps just as significant is Boafo’s staunch unwillingness to being exploited by white collectors now hungry for Black creativity. Amid Boafo’s meteoric rise, his work has often been “flipped,” or resold quickly at a much higher price—a practice that can prevent artists from profiting from the huge windfalls of secondary sales. In response, the artist has fought to establish more control over his work, both by buying it back and through creating a studio for local creatives in Accra. As a result, Boafo has sparked a larger dialogue about who really profits when Black art is handled by white gatekeepers.