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Rema’s Calm Down makes Afrobeats history in the US

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BBC


Rema’s Calm Down cannot stop making music history – the latest accolade for the hit by the 24-year-old Nigerian star is that it now the most-streamed Afrobeats song in the US.

It has become “the first Afrobeats song in history to earn over one billion on-demand streams in the US”, the music monitoring platform Chart Data has said on X.

Last year, Chart Data had already described the track as the “most successful African song of all time”.

Billboard magazine music analysts put its success down to its “melancholy slow jam with a subtle hypnotic draw”.

“[It’s] the kind that gets stuck deep in the back of a listener’s mind, prompting them to return again and again.”

The song was released in February 2022 as a single off Rave and Roses, Rema’s debut album.

Rema, whose real name is Divine Ikubor, partnered with the US singer Selena Gomez a few months later for a remix of the song, which hit the billion-plays mark on the streaming app Spotify.

It became the first African song to spend a year on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number three, making it the highest-charting song which an Afrobeats musician was the lead artist.

The remix, which has nearly 894 million views on YouTube, is currently the most watched music video by a Nigerian artist.

It has thrust Rema into the ranks of prominent Nigerian Afrobeats artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid and Davido.

Rema says he has his own style of Afrobeats, which he has dubbed “Afrorave”.