Afrobeats seem to be getting more popular in the UK – its influence on popular culture can no longer be overlooked. As a result, the UK’s Official Charts Company has announced the launch of Britain’s first-ever Afrobeats singles chart.
According to the announcement, the new Top 20 weekly rundown will spotlight artists making strides in the Afrobeats scene. Some of these artists include Wizkid, Burnaboy, Tiwa Savage, and Rema. Data from downloads, physical sales, and audio and video streaming, would be used to rank songs on the chart.
The inaugural chart will be revealed in a special The Official UK Show on BBC Radio 1Xtra on July 26. The show would be featuring a range of hosts and artists from around the world. Subsequently, the Afrobeats chart will be published every Sunday at 2 pm. This will be done via a weekly Spotify Official UK Afrobeats Chart playlist.
According to Mark Strippel, Head of Programmes at BBC Radio 1Xtra, the chart is “long overdue.” “1Xtra has been committed to championing the Afrobeats scene since our formation. We’re excited to support the launch of the first-ever UK Afrobeats Chart,” he said.
Afrobeats – especially in recent times, has struck a chord with the youth in West Africa and even beyond the continent. For example, In 2012, D’Banj’s hit “Oliver Twist” reached number nine in the UK charts. Likewise, Drake and WizKid’s “One Dance” topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for 10 consecutive weeks. This is following its release in May 2016.
More recently, Beyoncé’s album “The Lion King: The Gift” – which she described as her “Love letter to Africa”, features collaborations from a host of African artists.