Music has always offered the choice between escapism and counterattack. At the time of another Tory meltdown - with draconian benefit cuts and the increasing privatization of the NHS - there is no new sound expressing political protest. Ironically people are voicing their disgust through Judy Garland and a Hollywood escapist fantasy from seven decades ago.
"This ain't the last you've seen of me!" shrieked Kemal Shahin at the cameras, the ninth person to leave the Big Brother House in 2005. Apart from a couple of random cameos, that really was the last we saw of him.
From the streets of Accra to the clubs in Abuja, shops in South Africa to the public transport in Kenya comes a new genre of music that is thumping in clubs worldwide - Afrobeats. If you like music that is different, unique, organic yet modern, with no boundaries, energetic and fused with modern genres without losing its actual identity then you need look no further than Afrobeats. Afrobeats is the sound of young Africa which is growing in popularity through out the UK and the world. The genres name stems Nigeria's Afrobeat which was made popular by Fela Kuti and Tony Allen in the 70's.
But why is it important that we support a wide range of new music? In my opinion, the biggest challenge facing any artist or musician today is simply getting noticed. The internet has democratised music production and distribution and the barrier to entry is now so low that the web is flooded with millions of tracks and thousands of undiscovered artists. Simultaneously, there has been a global decline in the number of trusted guides or filters with sufficient audience to make any difference and without significant gatekeepers operating at mass-market scale music makers will find it harder and harder to emerge beyond their niche.