Afro Nation is headed to Miami this weekend, and it will be the first popular musical festival showcasing African music and that of the diaspora taking place on American shores. Adesegun Adeosun, one of the founders of Afro Nation also known as SMADE, launched the first Afro Nation in Portugal back in 2019. Since then, the rich cultural music festival has taken off from there.
EBONY spoke with Adeosun about Afro Nation and why now was a prime time for it to be held in the United States.
EBONY: Why did you start Afro Nation?
Adesegun Adeosun: My business partner Obi Asika and I came together to share our vision. He is a successful agent who works with a lot of mainstream artists, while I’ve always been a champion of Afrobeats. We're focused on promoting the culture through music, through fashion, through food, through lifestyle, through community and through charity work. We want to put as many people on and empower the culture as much as we can.
Afrobeats might be the biggest music genre in the world right now. Why do you think that's the case?
First off, Afrobeats is the biggest music genre in the world. And there are so many reasons why. Let's start with the artists; they put in so much work. Also, [African] culture is heading more towards the forefront. So as the music grows, the business industry grows, the food industry grows, the creative industry grows and the culture wins.
Afro Nation is heading to America for the first time. Why did you pick Miami as the first stop?
Miami is the number one holiday destination, especially for those of us who grew up in Nigeria. Miami was always the place we would see on TV and in movies. It was only right to have the first festival there.
The next stop in the U.S. is Detroit, which is an interesting choice. Why did you choose the Motor City?
Detroit has a rich Black history. It also has a rich music history. It is the home of Motown. Plus, Afrobeats is very popular in Detroit. So it makes sense to have the festival there.
What should festival goers look forward to this weekend at AfroNation Miami?
The vibe you will experience at Afro Nation is special; it's not the regular vibe you get. A lot of people haven't been to Miami before, and it's a chance for people to reunite with those they haven't seen in a long time. This is an opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate the beauty of our culture and Afrobeats.