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Rema’s “Calm Down” Comes Dangerously Close to Surpassing Another African Record

It is no farce to say that of all the Nigerian Afrobeat track breakthroughs in the American and, by extension, global market, none have broken more records and garnered as much praise as two songs: “Love Nwantiti” by Ckay and “Calm Down” by Rema.
May 3, 2023
10:06 am

After playing a critical role in making “Rave and Roses” become the first African project to surpass one billion streams on Spotify –as well as breaking a host of other records– “Calm Down” and its remix are on track to break another impressive record.


Readers would do well to recall that last spring, “Love Nwantiti,” the second track from the E.P. “Ckay the First,” became the first African song to cross four hundred million streams on Spotify. With 678 million streams as of this writing, the 2-minute and twenty-five-second track holds the record for the platform’s most streamed African song of all time. But not for long.


The remix of “Calm Down” with global sensation Selena Gomez inches ever closer to this number –and with 664 million streams on the platform as of the time of writing this piece, is already within touching distance of that. In fact, with a global average of three million Spotify streams daily, it may as well have surpassed that number by the time you read this.


And, although the sweet vocals of Ckay on “Love Nwantiti” rightly earned it the title of the most streamed African song, the continent has –or at least is expecting– a new king.


The successes of “Calm Down” and “Love Nwantiti” in sensitizing not just the American audience but global eardrums as well –including the Indian, Arabian, and European markets– speak to the potential of Afrobeats becoming the mainstream of modern-day rhythms.


The former had many defining moments, the pinnacle of which was becoming a symbol of the resistance to stringent women’s rights in Iran. And no matter which side of the globe your ear resides, this African rave would have or already has you gyrating.


Do not believe it? Just ask Cristiano Ronaldo and Vin Diesel!


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