New Report Reveals Gen Z Fall In Love With Rhumba, Benga

A recent report by Spotify on listening habits in Kenya reveals a remarkable surge in Gen-Z streams of Zilizopendwa and Rhumba music, marking a growth of 110%.

This upsurge in listenership can be attributed to the introduction of a dedicated playlist called City Express, launched in February 2023, which has resonated strongly with users on the platform.

Additionally, the popularity of artists like Okello Max, Bien, Bensoul, and ItsYaba, whose music draws inspiration from these iconic 80s/90s genres, has further fueled the trend.

Surprisingly, the report indicates that despite the traditional association of Zilizopendwa and Rhumba with older demographics, it is the 18-24-year-olds who constitute the largest audience, accounting for 39% of City Express streams. Following closely behind are 25-29-year-olds, making up 32% of the playlist’s listenership.

Spotify suggests that this unexpected trend may stem from Gen Z’s upbringing, as their parents belong to Gen X, the original fans and artists of these music styles. This nostalgic connection could explain the younger generation’s fascination with the genre.

Over the past year, City Express has experienced significant growth, with an overall increase of 121% in streams. Notably, Gen Z’s engagement with the playlist has surged by 110%, indicating a strong resonance with this demographic.

Moreover, the playlist’s popularity extends beyond Kenya, with Tanzania and Uganda emerging as the second and third largest streaming markets, respectively. South Africa and Nigeria round up the top five, demonstrating the widespread appeal of Zilizopendwa and Rhumba music across the region.

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