Afrobeats has seen a continued rise in consumption that was accelerated last year by two big crossover hits by leading African artists in the U.S.
In 2021, Afrobeats celebrated its first entry on Billboard Hot 100 chart, a chart that eluded Afrobeats music for years, Wizkid alongside Tems got pass the stalemate with Essence and made history as the first Afrobeats song to debut on the most competitive music chart in the world. The chart entry is a proof of acceptance of Afrobeats music and commercial success in United States. The song pushed Afrobeats to higher stratum in US, making the “Essence” the first Globally accepted Afrobeats song and it was followed shortly by ”Love Nwantiti.”
Essence spent 35 weeks on Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #9 on the chart, breaking the deadlock to make an appearance on Billboard Hot 100 chart with a collaboration between two Afrobeats artistes seemed far fetched at first, Afrobeats didn’t need an international artiste to break the leash, Essence, an all Afrobeats collaboration, produced by 2 Afrobeats producers did what collaborations with American artistes couldn’t do for us.
With 249m on-demand streams and 964.1m airplay audience in US, Essence has pushed Afrobeats sound into Pop culture, it is a song some of the biggest Artistes in the world wished they own, the song has become a symbol of hope and happiness for the black community and the world at large, it peaked at #28 on Billboard Global 200 chart.
However, while “Essence” was gaining acceptance, C kay’s “Love Nwantiti”, a song released in 2019 resurfaced, took over Tiktok and headed straight to Billboard Hot 100 climbing as far as #26, following the footsteps of Essence, the song’s success transcended beyond US, it became the 2nd Global Afrobeats hit song in 2021.
“Love Nwantiti” success started from Tiktok and transcended beyond the social media app, getting wide acceptance across the world, it peaked at #3 on Billboard Global chart. With 214.3m on-demand streams and 214.2m airplay audience in US, the acceptance of ”Love Nwantiti” has been unanimous on a global scale, the song is a symbol of love to music audiences worldwide.
Temi Adeniji (Managing Director, Warner Music South Africa & SVP of Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Warner Music Group) said: “People want quality music and with streaming breaking down borders, it’s easier for undeniably great songs like ‘Love Nwantiti’ to cut through. A Lot of the song’s traction was organic, but we moved quickly to transition the cosumption from social media platforms to DSPs, putting Warner Music’s collective global firepower behimd this track.”
The success and acceptance of “Essence” and “Love Nwantiti” in US, opened doors for Amarae’s “Sad Girls Luv Money” with Cali Uchiz & Moliy and Fireboy’s “Peru” with Ed Sheeran, both songs made appearances on Billboards Hot 100.