In the vibrant world of Afrobeats, one name resounds with undeniable impact. Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema. The young Nigerian hitmaker has not just walked into the spotlight, he has blazed a trail, positioning himself as a leader among a new generation of artists. His ascent to fame was meteoric, armed with a slew of hits that have resonated both within Africa and beyond its shores.
In 2019, upon claiming the Next Rated award at the prestigious Headies, Rema stood confidently on stage, declaring himself as the future of Nigerian music. This bold proclamation has since begun to crystallize into reality. Known for his fearless experimentation across genres, from the infectious rhythms of Afrobeats to the edgy beats of trap, Rema’s versatility has made him the emblematic voice of his peers.
His knack for creating chart-topping music was evident when, at just 18, he became the first Nigerian artist to debut five songs simultaneously on the Apple Music Chart. With each accolade, including the Headies and the City People Music Award for Revelation of the Year, Rema has proven time and again that he is the vibrant beat to which the heart of contemporary African music pulses. Let’s take a look at how Rema has put Afrobreats in the limelight in Africa and beyond.
Rema’s performance at Lollapalooza 2023
At Lollapalooza 2023, held in Chicago, African superstar Rema delivered a performance that reverberated across Africa and other continents. With the crowd in his thrall, he represented Afrobeats, a genre fast becoming the globe’s favorite soundtrack. Rema’s magnetic act at this iconic festival, which draws around 400,000 enthusiasts annually, underscored Afrobeats’ meteoric rise, led by his hit “Calm Down”, the most-watched video of its kind on YouTube.
His First ever Afrobeats win at the VMA Awards alongside Selena Gomez
At the 2023 VMA Awards, Nigerian sensation Rema, alongside American star Selena Gomez, clinched a landmark victory, winning the first-ever Afrobeats Award for their hit “Calm Down.” This win marked a pivotal moment for Afrobeats on the global stage, as the genre was celebrated at one of music’s most illustrious ceremonies. The track, a streaming juggernaut with over a billion plays, exemplifies the boundless reach of Afrobeats. Rema’s heartfelt speech, filled with pride, celebrated the genre’s remarkable journey to international acclaim. This accolade not only honored his artistry but also solidified Afrobeats’ standing in the global music arena, creating a new era for cultural influence in Africa.
Rema performed at the 2023 Ballon d’Or
In 2023, Africa’s own Rema took center stage at the Ballon d’Or in France, where his performance shone as brightly as the football stars in attendance. As Lionel Messi celebrated his eighth Ballon d’Or, Rema’s Afrobeats rhythms brought a different kind of celebration to the ceremony. His hit ‘Calm Down’ filled the room, proving Afrobeats’ global appeal. This performance wasn’t just about music; it was a moment where African culture captivated a world of sports fans, highlighting Afrobeats’ vibrant spirit and its place on the global map, resonating from the heart of Africa to the rest of the world.
When he entered the Guinness Book of Records by topping the MENA Chart
Nigerian sensation Rema has etched his name in the annals of history by topping the Middle Eastern and North Africa (MENA) charts with his smash hit ‘Calm Down’. This milestone clinched him a place in the Guinness Book of Records, showcasing the universal appeal of African music. His accomplishment speaks volumes, highlighting not only his artistry but also the irresistible charm of Afrobeats, which has transcended borders to resonate with fans in regions as diverse as Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Rema’s success is a resounding testament to the boundless potential and global connectivity of Africa’s vibrant musical heritage.
His 1 billion Spotify streams
Rema made a bold move with a remix of his song ‘Calm Down’ that some people questioned at first. They thought he just wanted to be famous worldwide. Despite the doubts, the song became a huge hit, getting one billion listens on Spotify. This is the first time a song from Africa has done that. Rema’s success shows that his music, and African beats in general, are loved all over the world.
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