Rema’s “Calm Down” hits 1b Spotify streams, a landmark for Afrobeats

a year brimming with achievements for Afrobeats, the spotlight now shines brightly on Nigerian star Rema, whose hit track “Calm Down” has made history by joining Spotify’s exclusive ‘Billions Club.’ 

This remarkable feat was achieved through more than 1 billion streams of the version featuring North American sensation Selena Gomez. What makes this accomplishment even more significant is that Rema is the first African artist to lead a track into the coveted ‘Billions Club’ on Spotify.

Victor Okpala, Spotify’s artiste and label partnerships manager for West Africa, expressed the magnitude of this achievement, stating, “This is the first African artist-led track to join the Billions Club on Spotify.” While it’s worth noting that Drake and Wizkid’s ‘One Dance’ achieved 1 billion Spotify streams in 2016, Rema’s accomplishment is unique because he is the lead artist, with Selena Gomez featured on the track.

Rema, humbled by this achievement, remarked, “It’s a blessing. It’s not just a big win for me, my team, and my family; it’s also a big one for the culture.” ‘Calm Down’ originally hit the airwaves in February 2022, and the remix featuring Selena Gomez followed in August of the same year.

This milestone for ‘Calm Down’ reflects the broader success of Afrobeats on Spotify in 2022, with the genre amassing a staggering 13.5 billion streams on the platform. Additionally, Nigerian artists collectively received over 11 billion naira (approximately $14.2 million) in payouts from Spotify in 2022, marking a remarkable 74% year-on-year increase.

Rema’s impact on the global music scene doesn’t end there; he has played a pivotal role in the success of Afrobeats label Mavin. In August, Mavin celebrated its 11th birthday by announcing that it had achieved 6 billion streams worldwide, with Rema contributing more than 3 billion of those streams.

This achievement cements Rema’s status as a trailblazer for Afrobeats and showcases the genre’s growing influence on the global music stage, setting the stage for even more groundbreaking moments in the future.

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