• Monday, July 15, 2024
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How Rema became Nigeria’s biggest music act of 2023

How Rema became Nigeria’s biggest music act of 2023

In the vibrant music scene in Nigeria, one name has clearly risen above the rest in a triumphant blaze of success. Divine Ikubor, known to the world as Rema, has solidified his status as the most successful Nigerian music act of 2023.

When Rema first stepped into Lagos in 2016 he could have only dreamed so much to conquer a particular set of music fan base in Lagos as it’s the most populated area in Nigeria.

Rema

His talent was spotted by D’Prince, an artist and younger brother of Don Jazzy, founder of Mavin music label who brought him to Lagos and invested in him. It was D’Prince, who advised him to release his first hit Dumebi which brought the singer into limelight for a lot of music fans in Nigeria.

Fast forward 2023, a year where established stars like Drake, Taylor Swift, Burna Boy, and Davido have achieved unprecedented success and set new records, Rema has not only shared in these groundbreaking moments but has also expanded the horizons of African musical impact on the global stage.

Read also: Rema’s Ballon d’Or performance highlights Afrobeats’ sport influence

Rema and Selena Gomez

With the inclusion of his recent triumph at the 2023 MTV EMA’s held on Sunday, November 5, at the Paris Nord Villepinte, France, where he clinched the newly-added ‘Best Afrobeats’ category, Rema is now considered as a top Afrobeats star now on par with Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy who has successfully carried Afrobeats genre on their backs more than a decade.

Rema

Rema’s list of achievements in 2023 has been admirable. From securing the title of the most streamed African album and song on Spotify where he surpassed 1 billion streams on the platform to his achievements on the Billboard charts, including being the first African act to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 for a year, and being the Highest charting Nigerian song on Billboard Hot 100 at number 3 (Calm Down).

The significance of Rema’s success extends beyond his chart-topping accolades. His performances at prestigious events such as the Ballon D’Or highlight his ability to bridge the gap between music and sports, underscoring his multifaceted appeal even in the world of sports. This feat however has been achieved by Davido performing at the Fifa World Cup finals in 2022 and Burna Boys Champions League finals performance early this year.

Rema

Rema remains conscious about his sound as he aims for music that can cross over. In an interview he said that other artists go into the studio focusing on singing for “their street”, which he said is fine for them, but he aims to create vibes that are going to make the whole world dance, a sound he has coined as Afrorave.

Read also: Davido unveils Timeless Abuja concert

Rema

During his acceptance speech for Best Male artist at the 16th Headies Awards in Atlanta, he paid respects to those who have paved the way for him and also emphasised the need for Afrobeats to be united under one genre regardless of the kind of sound the artist chooses to make and the significance of supporting Nigerian music institutions and media.

The fusion of Nigerian Afrobeats and international pop in recent years has not only resonated with audiences worldwide but also served as a testament to the transformative power of cross-cultural musical collaborations, one that has been waiting to happen since the time of ‘African Queen’ by 2face Idibia.

Rema with Karpil Sharma, Indian tv show host.
Rema with Karpil Sharma, Indian tv show host.

Rema’s music has created a unique impact in unexpected territories, notably in India, a feat unparalleled for a Nigerian artist. Despite recent collaborative efforts between Nollywood and Bollywood in film production and distribution, the music sphere has remained largely untouched by such cross-cultural support or initiatives.

The success of Rema’s track “Calm Down” shattered this precedent, leading to his unprecedented tour across India, marked by sold-out performances in major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad.

Rema

Some other notable achievements by Rema in 2023 include Most certified African song, Most viewed Nigerian music video on YouTube, First Afrobeats song to reach #1 on US Radio Songs, Longest charting African on Billboard US Afrobeats Songs chart, and recently , 2023 MTV VMA “Best Afrobeats” award winner. With each milestone he achieves, he not only cements his position as a trailblazer but also paves the way for a new era of African musical excellence.

How Rema became Nigeria’s biggest music act of 2023

For Rema to remain on the top , he’ll be taxed by loyal fans and music lovers to remain consistent which will be a testament to the power of talent, perseverance, and the boundless potential of African creativity. As Rema’s star continues to ascend, his influence on the Nigerian music industry and the global music landscape at large is set to endure for years to come.