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Rema and other Afrobeats artistes on the Billboard, so what?

Rema and other Afrobeats artistes on the Billboard, so what?

Nigerian Afrobeats singer Rema has made history on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts with his single ‘Calm Down’ remix peaking at number eight on the chart.

The song which features US RnB singer Selena Gomez has surpassed ‘Essence’ by Wizkid which peaked at number nine and has now become the highest-charting Nigerian song on the US chart.

The chart in recent years has featured some of Nigerian music’s biggest names including Wizkid, Tems, Ckay, and FireboyDML which has solidified Afrobeats as the top genre and has seen the likes of the two formers on the top 10 list. But what is its significance in the music business?

The chart which was launched in August of 1958 has featured some of the biggest names in the history of the music business and has so far become the standard of success in the music industry. Being on the top 10 list has further boosted the bragging rights for Nigerians as the biggest players in the music ecosystem in Africa.

The Hot 100 blends all genres, U.S. streaming, radio airplay and sales data as tabulated by MRC data, a data and analytics provider to the music business and consumers with its headquarters in the United States.

Currently, Billboard has two defined types of streaming plays, ‘On-demand’ which includes the likes of Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube and Programmed such as Pandora, the former having more impact on the charts. Radio plays are made up of audience impressions and pure sales of digital and physical copies from sources like Amazon and iTunes but on average, streaming pulls the heavy weight on performances on the billboard Hot 100 followed by radio plays and sales.

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Having a song at the top of the hot 100 chart can signal future success for an artist. Wizkid has been a popular name on the Afrobeats scene since the early 2010s but had not cracked the global audiences until after his single ‘Essence’ off the back of his 4th studio album ‘Made in Lagos’ received global critical reception and entered the Hot 100 charts which later cracked the top 10 list peaking at number nine. The song has further pushed the Ojuelegba singer far into the international scene, being nominated for awards like the Grammys and winning other awards such as Soul Train Music Awards, and BET Award in major categories.

Wizkid was not the only beneficiary from the single, Tems who featured in the song and gave her vocals to the now popular chorus of the track has so far seen exponential growth in her career since the song entered the Hot 100 charts. Tems has gone on to feature with international artists such as Drake. She’s also on Future’s award winning single ‘Wait for U’ which peaked at number one on the Hot 100 charts making her the first African artist to debut at number one and the second Nigerian artist to top the chart.

Tems has gone on to perform a Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” rendition for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack album in July 2022 and in the same month, her song ‘Free Mind’ from her debut EP debuted on the Hot 100 chart.

So far in her career, Tems has received many accolades, including a Grammy Award, two NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards and two Soul Train Music Awards. She also co-wrote the song “Lift Me Up” by Rihanna, which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song.

Rema notched his first entry on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with the single entering at No. 74 after he featured Gomez in the hit singles remix and gained worldwide attention, played on social media handles of top international celebrities and social media influencers both locally and globally.

In December a video surfaced on the internet where fans were heard at a stadium in Qatar during the 2022 World Cup singing along as the song played out through the stadium sound facilities. Delighted, Rema reposted the video with a caption “woke up grateful. Afrobeats.” Early in March 2023 Calm Down became the first Afrobeat Song to Hit 400m Views on YouTube.

Rema’s top 10 feature on the Billboard Hot 100 chart will open his chances to feature on top songs of international music stars and further solidify the Afrobeats to the world movement opening doors for other Nigerian artist to follow on the same path of international dominance.