Last year was a monumental year for African artists, with the continent’s unique sounds reaching unprecedented heights and breaking global records.
With the 2024 Grammy Awards set to be held in the US this weekend, several musicians from Africa are up for accolades at the globe’s biggest music awards.
The 66th Annual Grammy Awards which are set to be held on Sunday at Los Angeles’s Crypto.com Arena and be hosted by South Africa’s golden boy Trevor Noah, will see the addition of the "Best African Music Performance" category.
Ahead of the Grammys, Spotify spotlighted the seven African nominated musicians who have consistently enriched the globe’s musical experience with their outstanding artistry.
“With these nominees leading the charge, the future of music promises to be a vibrant tapestry of sounds, cultures, and unexpected collaborations,” the platform noted.
The South African songstress - whose real name is Tyla Laura Seethal - is continuing to make history and shatter music records.
Spotify said that the Joburg born musician song’s viral hit “Water” made a literal splash at #67 on the Billboard Hot 100, which rightfully earned her a Grammy nomination for Best African Music Performance.
“But it's her soulful melodies that weave the real magic, leaving listeners, especially her female audience who make up 59% of her streams, wanting more.”
Spotify revealed that the data showed that the US was leading the Tyla fan club, while Melbourne was the top city streaming her tunes.
“Her breakout hit ‘Water’ has not stopped topping the charts, and is still her most streamed song post the announcement, proving its enduring appeal,” the streaming platform said, adding, “Buckle up, because this rising star is ready to sweep you off your feet.”
Spotify described the South African producer and artist as a “collaboration maestro”.
“Teaming up with Davido on the hit track ‘Unavailable’, he adds his distinct flavour to the musical melting pot.”
The collaboration earned him his first Grammy nomination for “Best African Music Performance” which Spotify said, “reflects the power of collaboration and the beauty of cross-cultural harmony.”
This Grammy announcement sent his streams sky rocketing by 83% on Spotify, with searches for his name jumping a staggering 315% in a single day, the highest among all the nominated artists, the streaming platform added.
“Spotify data also reveals that Musa Keys' music resonates most with younger listeners compared to the other nominees.”
“This is a prophet accepted in his own hometown, with South Africa making up his biggest listenership” the platform added.
The Nigerian superstar is one of the most popular African artists and his name transcends introduction.
The musician - whose real name is Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu - has a record-shattering four Grammy nominations, including a history-making nod for Best Melodic Rap Performance.
This is a first for an African lead artist, and is a testament to his global influence.
“His 2023 album ‘I Told Them..’ and the electrifying anthem “City Boys” have become ubiquitous, blasting on repeat worldwide,” Spotify said.
“The announcement only served as fuel to the fire, as both have remained as his top streamed album and track, respectively.”
The platform added that Burna Boy's domination didn't stop at the charts, as he continues to conquer hearts too.
“He leads all African nominees in playlists created on Spotify with the word ‘Grammy’, proving that his music resonates deeply with fans who crave more,” Spotify said.
“And while he may be a global superstar, his talent is still appreciated at home, with Lagos taking the first spot as the city streaming him most since the Grammy nomination.”
Affectionately known as “OBO” by his fans, the Nigerian musician has three Grammy nominations and is a force to be reckoned with.
“His ‘Timeless’ album has been dominating the charts since the Grammy announcement, while his tracks ‘UNAVAILABLE’ and ‘Feel’ snagged nominations in both the Best African Performance and Best Global Music Performance categories, proving his impact knows no borders,” Spotify said.
It added that his music resonated most in Lagos, Nigeria's entertainment capital.
The Nigerian singer-songwriter, who is also known as "Sabi Girl", is taking the world by storm.
The African artist is also a trailblazer and is the first female Nigerian artist nominated for Best African Music Performance at the Grammys.
“She's showing the world that women can rule the stage (and the world!), one song at a time,” Spotify said.
Her fans experienced her infectious energy during her live tour, "21: The World Tour".
“And if you need a taste before you join the global dance party, check out ‘Rush’ and her album ‘19 & Dangerous', they're her top streamed track and album since the Grammy nominations, and for good reason,” Spotify said.
“Naturally, the girls love her, making up 52% of her audience since the nominations,” it added.
Asake and Olamide
This dream team and first-time nominees are no strangers to collaboration.
Their amapiano hit not only scored a Grammy nod in the category of Best African Music Performance, but also landed on Obama's favourite music list.
“The dynamic duo is proof that teamwork makes the dream work, and gets you Grammy-recognised,” Spotify said.
Since the Grammy announcement, Asake’s album “Work of Art” and song “Lonely At The Top”, as well as Olamide’s album “Unruly” have been leading the charts.
“But here's the kicker: their magic resonates most with their home crowd,” Spotify said. “Lagos, the beating heart of Nigeria, claims the top spot for streaming both artists' music and it seems their local love fuels their global rise.”
Spotify added that interestingly, the Gen Z demographic are vibing the most to the sounds of these seven Grammy nominated Africans.
“They do so at peak listening time daily that falls around 5pm.”
“This reaffirms the deep connection for the music stars by a younger demographic and suggests that the growth of African music will constantly be influenced by not just diverse audiences but by a young and digitally savvy tribe of music enthusiasts.”