Spotify, a global online streaming platform, has named South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Uganda as the top African countries listening to Rhythm and Blues (R&B) in Africa, on its platform.
Monica Kemoli-Savanne, Artist and Label Partnerships Manager, East Africa, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday, in Lagos.
“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.
“Even in francophone and lusophone markets like Côte d’Ivoire and Angola respectively, the presence of R&B is being felt across Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Despite the historical dominance of Afrobeats, Amapiano, Gengetone and others, in the African music landscape, an exciting transformation is unfolding.
“R&B undergoes a notable resurgence across the continent, with an average year on year growth of 133% on Spotify,” she said.
Kemoli-Savanne noted that Kenya seems to be 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.
“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, Africa’s stars are shining bright on the world stage.
“And now, African singers are also connecting with one another to release global hits all on their own.
“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 added.
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 growing popularity of the genre, 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 not only resonates with listeners but also bridges the gap between the past and the present.
“It is no surprise therefore 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 stated.