“Asake and Rema Among Top 10 Artists with Highest Spotify Gen Z Listeners in Sub-Saharan Africa”

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By Milcah Tanimu

The influence of Generation Z, aged between 11 and 26 years, is undeniably shaping popular culture, especially in the realm of music. Spotify’s year-end recap, known as Spotify Wrapped, provides insights into the listening preferences of this dynamic generation across Sub-Saharan Africa, highlighting the artists who resonated most with them in 2023.

Canadian rapper Drake secured the top spot, propelled by his collaborative album with 21 Savage on ‘Her Loss’ and the release of ‘For All the Dogs’ in October. Afrobeats, a dominant genre among Gen Z, showcased Nigerian artists Burna Boy, Asake, Davido, Rema, and Omah Lay in the top 10, reflecting their consistent contributions throughout the year. Notably, Burna Boy, Asake, and Davido released new albums, while Rema and Omah Lay unveiled deluxe versions of their previous works.

Beyond Afrobeats, international artists also captivated Gen Z. The Weeknd, with the deluxe version of ‘Starboy,’ and Travis Scott, with the highly anticipated ‘Utopia’ album, earned spots in the top 10. Additionally, despite not releasing solo projects, 21 Savage and Future secured positions, showcasing Gen Z’s affinity for international rap.

The top songs streamed by Gen Z further emphasize their inclination toward dance music. Nine out of the top 10 songs are African, rooted in Afrobeats or Amapiano, with Nigerian artist Ruger’s ‘Asiwaju’ claiming the top spot. Asake’s ‘Lonely At The Top’ and Davido’s ‘FEEL’ and ‘UNAVAILABLE’ from the album ‘Timeless’ also made the list. British artists Dave and Central Cee’s ‘Sprinter’ is the sole hip-hop song in the top 10, attesting to its global appeal among Gen Z.

‘Mnike,’ an Amapiano track that gained viral popularity, represents the only South African song in the top 10, underscoring the impact of virality. Ayra Starr’s ‘Rush’ stands out as the only track by a female artist in the top 10, adding diversity to Gen Z’s musical preferences in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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