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Wizkid, ElGrandeToto, Zuchu…Who Are the African Stars Exploding on YouTube?

The popularity of African music has been exploding around the globe, due in part to the improved accessibility that streaming platforms have provided. Despite advances in streaming, YouTube is still the primary channel through which Africans consume their music, and boy are they consuming.  Views routinely skyrocket into the millions and tell some interesting facts about the ways in which tastes differ across the continent. In West Africa, it is Afrobeat artists that have the most followers. Wizkid, JoeBoy, Gyakie, Olamide. In North Africa, it is Eastern pop singers such as Morocco’s Saad Lamjarred or Egypt’s Hamza Namira, whose tracks systematically break audience records. And, perhaps above all else, 2021 was the year that amapiano exploded. Led by a handful of leading figures, such as DJ Maphorisa and singer Kamo Mphela, this slow-tempo deep house derivative has now been adopted by some of the biggest names in Afrobeats.