Disc jockeys (DJs) in Africa have experienced a high rate of growth with their mixes on streaming platform, Apple Music.
According to reports, the DJs in the continent experienced over 500% increase in the last year. This data also shows that Afrobeats, Amapiano and Gqom have become staple sounds on social media with the emergence of TikTok and streaming companies building a physical presence in African countries.
The report is given from August 2021 through August 2022.
Takeaways from the report:
• African music has grown to become a global sound, leading to a 500% increase.
• The influx and rise of Nigerian DJ mixes has further solidified the place of Afrobeat songs in an emerging music landscape thirsty for new sounds. Also, with artists such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, Ckay, Rema, Fireboy and more, Nigerian music is being globally welcomed and partnered with.
• As these African DJs gain prominence globally, Nigerian mixes have made astronomical progress rising by 3,000% streams year over year, effectively becoming one of the world’s top 10 countries for DJ mixes.
• DJ mixes on Apple Music haven’t only revived the DJ relevance, but has also created a new and substantial revenue stream for DJs, and for the audience – a nostalgic, new and exciting way to enjoy music.
• Mixes from South Africa have experienced over 150% increase year over year.
• A few African dance music brands and curators including Soul Candi, Obrigado, KUNYE and The Balcony Mix Africa also helped to cultivate the growth that the report shows.
Other countries responsible for this growth include Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
According to Billboard, “this growth has been driven by the explosion of African electronic genres including Afrobeats, Amapiano and Gqom, as produced by genre leaders including Wizkid, Tems, Burna Boy, CKay, Fireboy DML, Major League DJz, Kabza de Small, DJ Maphorisa, DBN Gogo and more.”
DJing and Music Streaming in Africa
Africa has welcomed the ideas of music streaming. This has been visible following the launch of Boomplay in Cote d’Ivoire, YouTube Foundry’s Class of 2022, Spotify Radar program, uduX revolutionized streaming idea achieved through ‘Made in Lagos’ by Wizkid and other activities.
In September 2018, Apple had bought Shazam – a mobile app that helps identify music within its hearing environment on Apple Music and Spotify is also responsible for this growth. The purchase of Shazam has aided in tackling problems that language barriers and other forms of deficiencies that inhabit users from discovering whose song a DJ might be playing have made the hunger for African songs a tad bit satiable; giving them access to these songs and creating an opportunity of multiple streams.
David Evans-Uhegbu, the CEO of Party in the Jungle, a Lagos-based company that helps artists with music distribution, told Billboard that DJs have always played a key role in the propagation of African songs.
“If you have observed the evolution of African Music, you wouldn’t deny that DJs have been a necessary link between a track and its intended audience, through nightlife, radio and DJ mix CDs sold in traffic, especially unique to Nigeria in the early 2000s”, he said.
“Within the last year, DJ mixes on Apple Music hasn’t only revived the DJs relevance, but has also created a new and substantial revenue stream for DJs, and for the audience – a nostalgic, new and exciting way to enjoy music,” he added.
While streaming has made it possible with seemingly unbridled access to a global audience, it however comes with a price; such as the shortening of the tracks that comes out of the space and most sounds in the different subgenres taking up very similar sounds.
While this is an obvious growth for the music industry, it barely transforms into financial growth for the DJs who are indeed responsible for this growth. Artists who post their works on streaming platforms have lamented that the payment still does not commensurate with the work they put into it.
But this increase, for now at least, solidifies the place of African sounds as the world enters this new decade further.