In a ground-breaking moment for Afrobeats music, ‘Calm Down’, a collaboration between Nigerian music sensation Rema and international pop star Selena Gomez, has become the first Afrobeats song to reach #1 on American pop radio.
This amazing success signals a new era in the worldwide awareness and acceptance of Afrobeats, a music that has been progressively gaining ground beyond its African origins over the last decade. As a defining moment in pop culture, ‘Calm Down’ reaching the top of the charts represents not only a personal victory for the artists involved but also a milestone in the globalization of music.
Rema, a young Nigerian singer who has been vital in bringing Afrobeats to the worldwide scene, linked up with pop queen Selena Gomez for this landmark single. ‘Calm Down’ was born from Gomez’s pop sensibilities and Rema’s infectious Afrobeats rhythm. The tune was published in early 2023 and rapidly attracted the attention of listeners worldwide with its catchy melody, relatable lyrics, and the surprising but flawless combination of pop and Afrobeats.
While collaborations between African and Western artists are not new, ‘Calm Down’ stands out for its impact and reach. It has not only topped the charts but also become a cultural phenomenon, raising questions about the emergence of Afrobeats and its crossover into mainstream Western music.
The success of ‘Calm Down’ is a testament to the growing appeal of Afrobeats, a genre characterized by its fusion of diverse African musical traditions with Western pop and hip-hop elements. Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido have helped Afrobeats gain popularity worldwide.
However, Rema and Selena Gomez’s collaboration marks the first time an Afrobeats song has topped American pop radio, a clear indication of the genre’s growing acceptance and mainstream appeal. With its rhythmic beats, infectious melodies, and unique blend of musical styles, Afrobeats has managed to capture the attention of a global audience, and ‘Calm Down’ is a prime example of this.
The song’s rise to #1 also underscores the power of collaborations in breaking down cultural and musical barriers. By working with Selena Gomez, Rema not only broadened his reach but also introduced Afrobeats to a new audience. On the other hand, Gomez’s involvement with the song allowed her to experiment with a different sound, showcasing her versatility as an artist.
‘Calm Down”s success on pop radio marks Afrobeats’ global debut. It shows that music has no boundaries and that collaborations between artists of different genres and cultures can be very successful. The chart-topping accomplishment of ‘Calm Down’ has established a new threshold, opening opportunities for other Afrobeats tracks to garner worldwide recognition and further consolidating the genre’s role in the global music business.
This milestone is not just a win for Rema, Selena Gomez, or Afrobeats; it is a victory for music itself, marking a new era where global audiences are more open to diverse musical influences and sounds. It is a testament to the evolving musical landscape, characterized by cultural exchanges and the appreciation of different musical traditions. As Afrobeats continues its march towards global recognition, we can only expect more exciting collaborations and genre-defying music in the future.