Goodbye Adele, hello Egyptian hip-hop.
English-language pop is being eclipsed by new stars from the Middle East, Asia and Latin America who are building a worldwide fan base through social media.
The 60-year dominance of Western music stars is coming to an end, the IFPI’s 2022 Global Music Report found.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was the world’s fastest growing region in 2021, recording a 35 per surge in revenues.
TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are helping Afrobeat singers such as Gyakie, from Ghana, and now snapped up by the Sony Music giant, score instant worldwide hits.
Korean K-Pop stars BTS were the world’s best-selling artist of 2021, beating Adele and Ed Sheeran, helping send the global industry’s total revenues soaring by 18.5 per cent to £19 billion. Asia accounted for 23 per cent of the total market and 50 per cent of all physical sales.
Latin America, led by Colombian singer and rapper J Balvin, reported revenue growth of 31.2 per cent, compared to 15.4 per cent in Europe.
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Most British guitar bands can only dream of the breakthrough success of Måneskin, last year’s Italian Eurovision winners, who have since sold 4 million records and are set to play the 02 Arena.
Record companies are scrambling to open offices in Africa and the Middle East. “We’re seeing a rise in Egyptian hip-hop, and Mahraganat, or Electro-Shaabbi music,” said Moe Hamzeh, Managing Director, Warner Music Middle East. Artist are fusing styles that can “cross over to the rest of the world.”
Shridhar Subramaniam, Sony Music’s President of Market Development in Asia and Middle East, said: “The Middle East region is in a super-exciting place now. Social change is now fully underway, and with a young population, the conditions and timing are right for a new creative wave.” Arab world superstar, Mohamed Hamaki was “the first Arabic artist to perform in Fortnite.”
“African music is already global, it is at the root of all popular music. So why is there not going to be a major superstar coming from Africa and succeeding at the level of a Bruno Mars or a Drake?,” asked Alfonso Perez-Soto, Warner Music President of Emerging Markets: “I think CKay (Nigerian singer who scored a global hit with Love Nwantiti) could be that superstar.”
However the booming music industry, powered by streaming subscriptions, is set to prompt calls for a fairer distribution of the profits from songwriters, who are paid as little as 0.002p per play by market leader Spotify.
Frances Moore, Chief Executive, IFPI, said of BTS’s chart dominance: “By performing in three different languages, they demonstrate their extraordinarily unique global appeal and their dynamic and passionate fanbase has helped to make them the first artists in history to top the Global Artist Chart in two consecutive years.”
IFPI Global Artist Chart Top 10
Global success stories
Africa Nigerian-born CKay, originally signed to local label Chocolate City in 2015, “can be our Ed Sheeran” says Warner Music Africa boss. 2019 single Love Nwantiti was a Top 30 hit in the US, top 3 in the UK and No 1 across Europe, Africa and even in India.
Latin America Brazilian funk music phenomenon Anitta was sought out by Madonna for a collaboration. Set to perform at next month’s Coachella festival, Anitta has amassed 55 million Instagram followers and over 15 million YouTube subscribers.
Asia Indian singer Aastha Gill, who launched her career with Bollywood dance tracks, has embraced TikTok, launching an anthem for the cricket World Cup on the platform.
Middle East Egyptian superstar Mohamed Hamaki, winner of the Best Arabia Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards was chosen to perform a show within the Fortnite interactive game.
This content was originally published here.