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Ghana a cultural landmark in the diaspora External

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Ghanaian music and artists are positioning themselves on the world stage like never before, thanks to the introduction of the world’s largest audio streaming platform Spotify in this market, a year ago.

As the West African nation celebrates 65 years of independence, a new generation of creators is tapping into Ghana’s connection to the African diaspora., This is evidenced by the top artists, genres, and songs brewed with Ghanaian spices and delectably consumed on the platform outside the country’s borders.

A short Spotify documentary featuring top creators in Ghana and abroad reiterates the potential of the ‘black star of Africa’ to become a true cultural hub for Black communities globally.

Highlighting the need to produce world-class African musical content, ‘Madina To The Universe’ album maker M.anifest asserts in the short documentary: “The thing about the Ghana music scene is that it’s innovative. Every other year, there is something coming up that is fresh like nobody’s business. But it needs to go from that kind of innovation to dominance.”

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Speaking of dominance, Ghanaian music is undeniably gaining ground globally and Spotify has the statistics to back it up.  Remarkably, 95% of Ghanaian Afropop streams on Spotify come from outside the country. The mass exportation of the red-gold-green nation’s number one music genre is mainly consumed by the USA (21.03% with a 160% growth in the past year), the UK (11.01%), and the Netherlands (6.58%).

The artist behind this big overseas win or Ghana? None other than Amaarae who ranks as the most-streamed Ghanaian Afropop artist in 16 of the top 18 countries in which 95% of the music genre is enjoyed. This establishes SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY Remix featuring Kali Uchis and Moliy as the most widely exported Ghanaian collaboration with Spotify users in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, India, and the UK playing it the most.

 

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King Promise and Kwesi Arthur, meanwhile, are the ones with the most Ghanaian Afropop tracks played in the Netherlands and Nigeria respectively.

Twelve countries outside Ghana share 86% of exported hiplife streams on Spotify, with the USA alone being accountable for 22.02%. Rapper Sarkodie’s hiplife tracks have seen him sit atop the rankings of the most streamed hiplife music artist in the USA, France, Nigeria, Italy, Australia, and Belgium.

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For Stonebwoy, who is Ghana’s most-streamed artist for hiplife tracks in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Sweden, and Spain, joining forces with Caribbean artists and plugging into Caribbean music influences have been crucial.

“Ghana has been collaborating especially with the Caribbean nations — Barbados the other time, Jamaica… so that we continue to experience one another, as Black people, as those who are believed to have had their roots deep down their Ghanaian lineage. Most of the countries or all the countries in the Caribbean are linked to Africa. I always say: Ghana has the soul”, he tells Spotify in the documentary.

Asakaa is also attracting an eclectic audience and reaching the ears of streamers located as far as New Zealand. At the same time, Spotify users in the UK, US, and Germany are responsible for nearly half of Asakaa’s music streams outside its country of origin.

Joe Mettle is the undisputed face of Ghanaian gospel overseas, gathering a remarkable 80.68% of all Ghanaian gospel songs streaming. Ghanaian gospel is mostly streamed in the USA (29.11% of plays) and the UK (27.94%) but also touches audiences in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Nigeria, South Africa, Australia, and France. These numbers have contributed to a 70% growth for the genre, since Spotify became available in Ghana in February 2021.

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Far away in India, a king reigns supreme. Indeed, when it comes to solo tracks, no Ghanaian artist can Touch It like KiDi. The viral global hit has also found success in the USA, Netherlands, the UK, and Mexico.

“We have a lot of talent here — specifically in Ghana. Come to Ghana and support us and our music,” 26-year-old E Choke songstress Sefa told Spotify as she encouraged foreign investments in Ghana’s music industry.

Indeed, the audio streaming giant has unlocked a wider reach potential for Ghanaian music to sell itself to the world. Only one year on since the audio powerhouse has become accessible in the country, it very much seems like this is just the beginning.

To continue celebrating Ghana’s independence, music lovers can stream the “Free Forever” playlist on Spotify.

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