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Arbantone fast gaining popularity among Kenya’s Gen Z, Spotify data reveals

Gen Z are the biggest consumers of Spotify’s content in Kenya, with afro-soul singer Okello Max being the most listened to artist.

According to data collected over the last three months by the giant music streaming platform, City Express playlist, launched in February 2023 on Spotify, is popular among Gen Z, thanks to the emerging sound, Arbantone.

The new sound blends sounds from the 80s and 90s such as Rhumba and Zilizopendwa and fuses them with urban beats.

Newer artists such as Watendawili and Okello Max are some of the big acts in this genre, but more established artists like Bien and Nyashinski have also dabbled in it.

Okello Max tops the list as far as listenership is concerned, while Bensoul, another afro fusion singer, and Its Yaba, are next on the list. Bien Aime Baraza, Charisma and Watendawili are also making waves on the playlist.

City Express’ top streaming days for the playlist are Fridays and Saturdays, the data indicates.

Over the last year, the playlist has grown by 121 per cent overall, while Gen Z streams of the playlist grew by 110 per cent.

Tanzania and Uganda also seem to be enjoying it, coming in second and third respectively after Kenya. South Africa and Nigeria round up the top five.