Spotify, a global online streaming platform, says South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, and Uganda are the top African countries listening to Rhythm and Blues (R&B) on its platform.
Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Artist and Label Partnerships Manager in East Africa, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos.
Similarly, she said even in francophone and lusophone markets like Côte d’Ivoire and Angola, respectively, the presence of R&B is felt across Sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite the historical dominance of Afrobeats, Amapiano, Gengetone and others, Spotify highlights that an exciting transformation is unfolding in the African music landscape.
They say this is because R&B has undergone a notable resurgence across the continent, with an average year-on-year growth of 133 per cent on Spotify.
“Africa’s thirst for quality R&B is undeniable, with South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia, and Uganda registering top R&B listenership on Spotify’, she said.
Ms Kemoli-Savanne noted that Kenya is leading the charge in this resurgence.
She said, according to Spotify data over the last 90 days, the Tantalizers playlist got most of its streams from the country, and R&B ranks in the top five genres in Kenya.
She noted that across Sub-Sahara Africa, the Weekend, Chris Brown, SZA, Rihanna and Beyoncé were the artistes who the Spotify R&B listeners could not get enough from.
According to her, locally, artistes like Kenya’s Xenia Manasseh, Ghana’s Baaba J, South Africa’s Lloyiso and Nigeria’s Bloody Civillian had the people in their feels.
“It is on the back of this sweeping growth that R&B collaborations between international icons and African artistes are becoming more commonplace than they were only a decade ago.
Power of collaboration
From the mesmerising strains of WAIT FOR U by Drake, Future, and Tems to the captivating melodies of Monalisa by Chris Brown, Lojay, and Sarz, and Chris Brown tapping Wizkid for Call Me Everyday, Spotify says Africa’s stars are shining bright on the world stage.
‘‘And now, African singers are also connecting to release global hits alone. The Ghana-Nigeria collaboration on Camidoh’s Sugarcane (Remix) featuring King Promise, Darkoo, and Mayorkun, as well as Essence by Nigerian powerhouses Wizkid and Tems, are treating the ears of music lovers near and far,” she said.
According to Kemoli-Savanne, R&B in Africa is a testament to the adaptability and creativity of African musicians.
She said while R&B had traditionally been characterised by its soulful melodies and themes of love and relationships, African artistes were giving the genre a unique twist by infusing it with their own cultural and musical influences.
She disclosed, “To leverage this genre’s growing popularity, Spotify had partnered with COLORSxSTUDIOS for a multi-day R&B writing camp in Nairobi, Kenya.”
According to her, the writing camp, taking place in the first week of October, will bring together artistes, songwriters and producers from across Africa and beyond, with Spotify’s flagship R&B playlist Tantalizers acting as the umbrella.
“Musicians across the continent are seamlessly blending soulful vocals with traditional African rhythms, Afrobeat grooves, and contemporary production techniques. This blend produces a sound that resonates with listeners and bridges the gap between the past and the present.
“It is no surprise that most of the R&B streams in Sub-Saharan Africa come from Gen Z’s, aged between 18 and 24, followed by 25 to 29-year-olds.
“R&B in Africa is more alive than ever. As this borderless journey continues to move like wildfire, we see that the power of music has no boundaries, whether by location or generation,” she said.
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