While Yemi Alade prepares to release her third studio Album Black Magic in October, her song “Tumbum” has been playlisted to feature amongst 32 other songs on the 2018 edition of video-game, Just Dance. Yemi is the only African artist featured this year alongside Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars, Selena Gomez, etc.
Since its inception in 2009, the motion-based dancing game has not only underscored changing perceptions of what’s important in socialising, but has become a standard for those perceptions to materialise in real time. It’s been over decade and yet, still a major pop culture phenomenon, both fun to play and fun to watch others play. This installment of the series is to be released on the 24th, 25th and 26th of October this year, for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch.
This win for Mama Africa points a spotlight on Afropop music and raises the question of what it means to acknowledge the best of it. Ubisoft, the company behind Just Dance 2018, is based in France, and Yemi Alade’s feature is no doubt linked to her efforts to covet Francophone markets in Africa, some of that spilling over to French-speaking parts of Europe. The singer’s first attempt to conquer Africa came nearly three years ago with an alternate French remix of her 2014 summer hit, “Johnny”. After the success of the remix, Effyzzie records launched a more hands-on pan-African campaign, giving East and South African markets Swahili reworks of some tracks off her Kings of Queens debut and Mama Africa sophomore. Yemi’s feature on the Just Dance series lightly underpins the music industry’s evolution, as seen in the breakthrough of indigenous artists on same platforms enjoyed by some of the biggest acts in the world.
Nicely done Mama Africa, nicely done indeed.
Watch the Trailer to “Tumbum” on Just Dance 2018 below. I’ve attached the official music video to the track for your reminiscence too. Thank me later.
Featured Image Credit: Youtube/Just Dance
Fisayo is a journalist in search of words. Tweet at her @fisvyo