Music is an art form that transcends social, economic and geographical borders. Global streaming service, Spotify, who strive to promote discovery of culturally diverse music, has made it easy for music lovers around the world to access any track, artist and genre at any time by bringing-different cultural influences to a single platform. Spotify also provides a space for African artists to enter the global stage and drive discovery to over 299 million active users around the world. There are no limits to where music can go with Spotify!
As we celebrate our heritage this September join Spotify in recognising the diversity, unity and uniqueness of African culture through honouring its impact on music today.
Africa making its mark on the global stage
The growing popularity of Africa’s expressive and rich music culture around the world is mirrored on Spotify global playlists, such as African Heat and Oya Dance, enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of fans. African artists feature prominently on internationally sought-after Spotify playlists like Most Necessary, No Wahala, Channel X and R&B Right Now amongst others, which attract a largely global audience including the US, Netherlands and Philippines. Taking discovery a step further, Nigerian artists Rema and Cruel Santino as well as local rapper Nasty C recently featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday billboards in Time Square New York, exposing not only their music but their faces to audiences far from their homes in Lagos and Johannesburg.
Jerusalema’s world domination
Most recently Master KG went viral with his hit track ‘Jerusalema (ft. Nomcebo Zikode’) that gave rise to the #JerusalemaDanceChallenge with celebs such as soccer star Ronaldo posting the challenge on his socials and even President Ramaphosa getting in on the action and, during his last presidential address, encouraging the country to take up the challenge to celebrate Heritage Day.
The gospel inspired track grew in popularity between 2019 and 2020, witnessing a 40,724% increase in streams over the past few months on Spotify. ‘Jerusalema’ resonated with fans all the way from Italy, France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands who were the top countries streaming the global hit. ‘Jerusalema’ continues to be an unstoppable force following Master KG’s collaboration with Afrobeats star Burna Boy on the ‘Jerusalema Remix’, which has had millions of fans chanting lyrics in English, isiZulu and Yoruba.
Amapiano taking off as an international phenomenon
South African township-born Amapiano is having its moment too. In the first half of 2020, Amapiano’s share of plays globally was 145% higher than in the first half of 2019. The US, UK and Germany are just some of the markets where Amapiano listenership is going strong.
The rhythm of Pan-Africa plays everywhere uniting the continent
The last few years have seen an increase in collaborations from some of the most popular artists across the African continent, resulting in chart topping feature-hits. These collabs have contributed to the growth and diversity of the artists’ individual musical influences and have exposed fans to a wider variety of artists, making the discovery of new music an integral part of their listening experience. Burna Boy alongside WizKid also featured on Kabza De Small’s I Am the King of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust album, signalling exciting things ahead for cross regional collaboration. In a recent interview with Mixmag, WizKid summed up the power of collaboration for the continent, ‘’Music, especially ours, is all about feeling. When you listen, you feel it… and when people experience music on that level it naturally spreads and grows. Arts and entertainment are doing a lot for the continent. Most importantly, it’s inspiring more people to see that there are many honest ways of making a living and improving life for you and your family. More collaborations like this across industries will definitely be good for the continent and our people.”