How to make Afrobeat music: Iss 814’s step-by-step walkthrough

Distinct from Afrobeats, Afrobeat is a genre that blends West African musical styles such as highlife and Yoruba music with American funk, jazz, and soul influences.

Above, expert producer and veteran sample pack creator Iss 814 dropped by the Splice YouTube channel to walk through how to make Afrobeat music from scratch. He begins by tracking a smooth chord progression in Logic Pro X and pairing it with some percussion. From there, he composes a saxophone melody and fills out the production with an infectious drum groove. Lastly, he adds some saturation to round out his mix.

“I like to inspire people,” Iss 814 says. “And I like to inspire people that then go and inspire people again. It makes the whole thing more interesting and creates a kind of cycle—everybody inspiring everybody and picking things up from everybody.”

Which part of the tutorial was favorite? What other musical styles would you like to see Iss 814 break down? Let us know in the comments section of the video, and subscribe to the Splice YouTube channel for more artist-led tips, tutorials, and insights.

Incorporate Iss 814’s modern Afrobeat sounds into your own productions:

June 3, 2024

Harrison Shimazu

Harrison Shimazu is a composer, content strategist, and writer who’s passionate about democratizing music creation and education. He leads the Splice blog and produces vocaloid music as Namaboku.