Afrobeats as a tool for Cultural Export

Spotify’s Journey of a Billion Streams latest update delves into globalisation of the genre

The result of Afrobeats crossing its West African borders has not only impacted music, it has also been a vehicle for food, dance and language export. This cultural exportation currently taking place thanks to Afrobeats’ prevalence in mainstream global media is the focus of this week’s update to Spotify’s Afrobeats:Journey of a Billion Streams site. 

Launched by Spotify last month to chronicle Afrobeats’ growth from West Africa to the global stages, the site has so far journeyed through Afrobeats origins in Ghana and Nigeria, the evolution into the current sound and its fusion with other genres. 

New this week

Afrobeats surge in popularity can be linked to several factors including international collaborations, the power of social media, the rise in music streaming and the African diaspora. According to Spotify-commissioned research conducted by Kuvora, 28% of fans believe that international collaborations is one of the key factors driving the growth of Afrobeats. 

The findings from the research and a deep dive article into Afrobeats as a tool for cultural export are included in this week’s site update. The experts are back, sharing insights into the globalisation of Afrobeats. This week’s videos feature: 

  • Benewaah Boateng, Spotify’s West Africa Editor
  • Efya, a Ghanaian artist
  • Seyi Shay, a Nigerian singer and songwriter
  • Kofi Bansah, a Ghanaian music producer
  • Obi Asika, CEO of Storm Records, one of Nigeria’s pioneer music labels
  • May7ven, a UK based Afrobeats artist and pioneer

Beyond West Africa 

West Africa might be the home of Afrobeats but as this update proves, the reach is far beyond its borders, with fans ranging from East to South Africa. Some of the top cities, outside of Lagos, where Afrobeats is getting the most streams are London, Paris, Abuja, Nairobi, Amsterdam and Accra. 

Kenya has seen a 196% yearly growth in Afrobeats streams since Spotify launched in the region. In Nairobi, the top streamed Afrobeats songs are: 

  • Ayra Starr – Rush
  • Ruger – Asiwaju 
  • Bayanni – Ta Ta Ta
  • Asake, Fireboy DML – Bandana
  • Kizz Daniel, EMPIRE – Cough (Odo)

Other data updates

The updates also include new data on: 

  • Top exported Afrobeats albums
  • Top exported Afrobeats artists 
  • Top exported Afrobeats tracks
  • Top exported female Afrobeats tracks 

“Afrobeats’ journey has been fascinating to watch, the export story we have seen with the genre has been so encouraging from Mexico to Saudi Arabia – African music is reaching new audiences. We know Afrobeats is going to continue shattering even more ceilings and we are so excited to see how this genre has taken African culture to the world,” says Jocelyne Muhutu-Remy, Spotify’s Managing Director for Sub Saharan Africa

Cultural Export is currently live on

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Flip Side

The Flip Side is a Kenyan lifestyle blog covering human interest stories. The Flip Side is a publication of TechTrends Media Ltd. Send tips to
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