R&B making a comeback on the continent



Published Oct 2, 2023


Rhythm and Blues is making waves as a genre in Africa, according to Spotify, and it has undergone a notable resurgence across the continent, with an average year-on-year growth of 133% on the platform.

According to Spotify, R&B in Africa is a testament to the adaptability and creativity of African musicians.

“While R&B has traditionally been characterised by its soulful melodies and themes of love and relationships, African artists are giving the genre a unique twist by infusing it with their own cultural and musical influences.

“To leverage this growing popularity of the genre, Spotify has partnered with COLORS X STUDIOS for a multi-day R&B writing camp in Nairobi, Kenya. The writing camp, taking place in the first week of October, will bring together artists, songwriters and producers from across Africa and beyond, with Spotify’s flagship R&B playlist Tantalizers acting as the umbrella,” read the platform statement.

According to Spotify, Africa’s thirst for quality R&B is undeniable, with South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and Uganda registering top R&B listenership on Spotify.

“Even in francophone and lusophone markets like Côte d'Ivoire and Angola respectively, the presence of R&B is being felt across sub-Saharan Africa,” added Spotify.

On the platform, artists like Kenya’s Xeniah Manasseh, Ghana’s Baaba J, South Africa’s Lloyiso and Nigeria’s Bloody Civillian have the people in their hearts.

“And now, African singers are also connecting with one another to release global hits all on their own. The Ghana-Nigeria collaboration on Camidoh’s Sugarcane (Remix) featuring King Promise, Darkoo, and Mayorkun as well as Essence by Nigerian powerhouses Wizkid and Tems, are treating the ears of music lovers near and far,” added the statement.

Spotify also said that musicians across the continent are seamlessly blending soulful vocals with traditional African rhythms, Afrobeat grooves, and contemporary production techniques.

“This blend produces a sound that not only resonates with listeners but also bridges the gap between the past and the present. It is no surprise therefore that most of the R&B streams in sub-Saharan Africa come from Gen Zs aged between 18-24, followed by 25 to 29-year-olds.

“R&B in Africa is more alive than ever. As this borderless journey continues to move like wildfire, we see that the power of music has no boundaries, whether by location or generation,” the streaming platform said.

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