J Hus sits at the top of the new music chart, which is meant to celebrate the rise of Afrobeats in the UK and acknowledge its global influence.
A new top 20 chart, dedicated to Afrobeats music has launched in the UK.
The Official UK Afrobeats Chart is a Top 20 rundown of the biggest songs in afropop music, based on streaming data and sales. While defining what constitutes ‘Afrobeats’ is a topic of debate, the launch of the list is a testament to the influence of contemporary music of African origin in the country, and includes artists from various sub-genres that have seen unique success in the UK.
A list of the top artists over the last 12 months was released on Tuesday, and the chart will officially launch with a special event on BBC Radio 1Xtra this Sunday, July 26 with a range of hosts and special guests.
Currently at the top of the list of acts is the Gambian-British rapper J Hus with his hit song “Must Be”, followed closely by Nigeria’s Burna Boy for his 2018 anthem “Ye.” While the Hackney-based group NSG landed in third place overall. Yung T & Bugsey’s “Don’t Rush” which earned viral fame after being used in the popular #DontRushChallenge earlier this year, was named the “top Afrobeats track of the year.”
Popular Nigerian acts Wizkid, Rema, Tekno, Naira Marley and more also appear in the male-dominated top 20 list. The French-Malian singer Aya Nakamura is one of the only women to appear on the list.
“For too long, Afrobeats artists have had to work tirelessly to get their voices heard and now African music/Afrobeats is finally being seen as a leading sound that global superstars turn to on a regular basis,” Kofi ‘Funkz’ Kyei of MOVES Recordings, who was part of the team who created the list told NME.
“The Official UK Afrobeats Chart will help open up the culture to new audiences, giving emerging artists the opportunity to be heard whilst celebrating the sound of a continent that has gone global. Its importance can’t be measured and I look forward to celebrating the biggest and best tracks each and every week!”
The rise of the genre has also become apparent through sold out arena shows, recent sound clashes, growing stan culture and much more, but perhaps the official list will makes this success more quantifiable. You can check out the full top 20 list ahead of the official launch via Officialcharts.com, and listen to a playlist of the top 20 tracks down below.