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Spotify Wrapped 2023: Here is what Kenyans listened to the most this year


Spotify today launched Wrapped 2023, its annual review of how people listened to artists, albums, tracks, playlists and even podcasts.

For Kenyans, there has been viral hits, Kenya’s foremost boy band taking a hiatus, Gengetone being recognised as a genre for Grammy consideration and Spotify partnering with COLORSxSTUDIOS to showcase Kenyan R&B to a global audience. All this to say, it’s been an interesting year musically, and Spotify Wrapped is right there, with the receipts.

“The Kenyan music scene has grown exponentially since our last Wrapped, and it is refreshing to see a Kenyan artist in the top streamed list. Our mission to amplify homegrown artists to global stages continues steadfastly,” says Phiona Okumu, Spotify SSA’s Head of Music.

Saturday leads as the top streaming day, and 4pm as the top streaming hour. They say Kenyans love a good party and the data concurs. Surprisingly though, Tuesday comes in as the third most popular streaming day, after Friday, so maybe recovering from the Monday blues?

A look at the top list shows Kenyans enduring love for Hip hop, and Drake, who is topping the list for the third year in a row, landing as also the top streamed artist among 18 – 34 year olds, and the most searched on Spotify in Kenya. The top streamed tracks list on the other hand, is dominated by Afrobeats, with the only exception being Darassa and Bien’s collaboration No Body in sixth place. A look at the top genres puts this into perspective as rap, pop, afrobeats, hip hop and r&b top in Kenyans’ favorite genres.

Virality is the dream for a lot of artists, especially in the age of social media. Kinoti’s Nitangoja is the second most viral track on Spotify in Kenya, meaning users shared it widely so their friends and family could also enjoy the R&B goodness. Sasa Hivi by V-Be and Ashley Music struck a relatable chord with Kenyan R&B lovers, making it the 10th most viral song.

Female artists may be lacking in the top lists, but there has actually been a 61% increase in the streams in Kenya, in comparison to globally that had a 27% increase. Karun and Nikita Kering’Xenia Manasseh, a Spotify RADAR artist, are both in the top ten most exported Kenyan artists. Nikita Kering’ is the only female artist in the top ten most streamed Kenyan artists.

With podcasting, the women take the day, with the first three of the top streamed podcasts in Kenya all being female led. So This Is LoveThe Messy In Between and It’s Related, I Promise are the top streamed podcasts in Kenya, in that order. Other Kenyan podcasts making an appearance on the top streamed list include The Sandwich PodcastLegally Clueless and The97sPodcast, in a promising display of support for local content by Kenyans.

  • Wakadinali are not only the sole Kenyan artist in the top streamed list, landing at number 8, they are also the most searched artist in Kenya on Spotify, and their album Ndani ya Cockpit 3 ranks 10 as the most streamed album. The Hip hop duo has evidently resonated with the listeners

  • Kenyans cannot seem to get enough of Ayra Starr, who is the fourth and only female artist in the top streamed list, and her track Rush is the top streamed song in Kenya in 2023, and was also the top song everyday from 1 January to 23 March, coinciding with her March 4 performance in the country, then again from 5 April to 2 May, only interrupted by Ruger’s Asiwaju on 11 April. Asiwaju then took over again from 3 May to 9 May, making it the second most streamed song in Kenya

  • But it’s not just Kenyans loving Rush; across SSA, it was the top streamed song from 2 January to 19 January. In Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, it was also the top streamed track in 2023

  • Nyashinski’s Perfect Design had the music lovers in a hold when it launched, it was the top song every day 26 October (a day after it was released) to 2 November

  • The late Congolese Rhumba musician, Madilu System had a major fanbase in Kenya, who still continue to stream his music, 16 years after his death. His song Ya Jean – Remix is fifth while RTC riva is 11th in the throwback list. His album Femme legitime is 10th most steamed throwback album

  • While K-POP fans seem to be Gen Zs going by online conversations, who would have guessed that in Kenya, 35-44 year olds are the ones listening to them the most. Jung Kook is the most streamed artist in this age group, and BTS (which Jung Kook is part of) is at number seven. Jung Kook’s Seven featuring Latto and Dreamers are the two top streamed tracks in this age group, adding to the surprise

Eligible users can access their personalized 2023 Wrapped experience exclusively in the Spotify mobile app (iOS and Android) and also this year, via web view on mobile or Desktop by heading to Spotify.com/Wrapped.

Additionally, Spotify has also launched its Wrapped creator experience for podcasters and artists.  With access to their own individualized Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year. Check out Spotify for Artists and Spotify for Podcasters to learn more.

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Nixon Kanali

Tech journalist based in Nairobi. I track and report on tech and African startups. Founder and Editor of TechTrends Media. Nixon is also the East African tech editor for Africa Business Communities. Send tips to nkanali@techtrendske.co.ke.

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