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Survey: Afrobeats dominates music charts in Kenya

Despite the relatively quiet PlayKe music campaign, Afrobeats continues to reign supreme on the charts in Kenya.

Recent data reveals that Nairobi is one of the top five cities globally where the West African sound enjoys immense popularity. The other cities in this elite group are Paris, London, Lagos, and Abuja.

This information comes from a comprehensive research study titled “Afrobeats: Journey to a Billion Streams,” by Kuvora on behalf of Spotify. The survey encompassed 34 countries, including Kenya, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Nigeria, and involved more than 1,000 participants.

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Afrobeats has experienced remarkable growth, with a staggering 550% increase since 2017. In the previous year alone, it accumulated over 13 billion streams. Originating in Ghana and later gaining popularity in Nigeria through its fusion with other genres, Afrobeats has become Africa’s biggest musical export.

The research attributes the beginnings of Afrobeats to Nigerian music executives Don Jazzy and D’Banj, who co-founded Mo’Hits Records in 2004. Their pioneering efforts paved the way for the widespread success of the Afrobeats sound.

With its infectious rhythms and captivating melodies, Afrobeats has captivated audiences worldwide, solidifying its position as a global musical phenomenon.

Also read: Spotify launches ‘Afrobeats: Journey of a Billion Streams’

Meanwhile, Willy Paul has urged fellow musicians in the country to embrace singing in English as a way to achieve international recognition and compete on the same level as Afrobeat artists.

In a social media post, Willy Paul emphasized the importance of normalizing English in Kenyan music and offered assistance to those needing guidance in the transition.

However, his statement received criticism from comedian Dr Ofweneke, who disagreed with the suggestion, stating that Nigerian Afro music and Amapiano are already making waves globally without relying solely on English lyrics.

“Nigeria’s afro music and Amapiano are taking over the globe as a genre and we still dont even know what “Shaimbebe” means or “Shayoooo” we busy here singing “Abele bele” instead of “Unavailable”. We just need to push our music harder, Dr Ofweneke noted.

He highlighted the success of Kenyan artists like Eric Wainaina, Suzanna Owino, Makadem, Oliver Mtukuzi (RIP), and Emmy Kosgei who have achieved major concerts abroad by staying true to their cultural roots.

He encouraged Willy Paul to focus on pushing Kenyan music harder and suggested that success comes from dedication and effort.

Also read: Afrobeat magic dominates Spotify’s top 10