• Love Nwantiti Is Global Nigerian Song of The Year

Written by: Ayomide , Oriowo

Ckay also ends the year as the Global Nigerian Artiste of the Year

Music holds strong currency in globalization as it has the power to defile the barriers of distance, language, culture, and creed. For Nigeria, music is one of her biggest export, and through the efforts of some of the country’s illustrious talents, Nigerian music has attracted the admiration and attention of the world. It is befitting that the word that will come to encapsulate Nigerian contemporary music is one coined by the very man whose deistic talents placed the country on the world map. Today, Afrobeats has traveled far and wide taking a part of Nigeria with it and depositing it in different parts of the world.

Over the years, Nigerian music has grown in talent, capacity, and industry making it one of the biggest and by far the most respected music market on the African continent. A large part of the reason why the Nigerian music industry has comfortably held the mantle of the big brother of African music is because of the number of Nigerian artists performing on the global stage. Nigerian stars have been able to make a mark on the international scene in a manner that is not only unprecedented but also unrivaled by their counterparts from other countries. Today in the US, UK, and other European countries, Afrobeats is a reoccurring sound on the radio and the actors who are leading the Afrobeats to the World Movement are popular figures in the international scene.

In 2021, Nigerian music crossed borders and enjoyed international success. The Afrobeats to the World movement has been gathering some steam over the years most notably with Burna Boy’s Grammy-winning efforts further consolidating Nigeria’s big brother status while also positioning mainstream Afrobeats for global recognition. However, despite these concerted efforts and obvious growth, no one could have predicted the disruption Afrobeats would cause on the international stage in 2021.

Wizkid is an industry leader and one of Afrobeats’s biggest exports and when his single “Essence” featuring singing sensation Tems began making waves internationally it wasn’t much of a surprise. For an artist who has collaborated with Drake on a global chart-topping and record-breaking single, it was no surprise that Big Wiz’s music was permeating the international scene. It, however, turned out to be more than what the industry has ever seen. Wizkid’s “Essence” swept across the international scene and became a huge success so much that it debuted on the American charts. Widely enjoyed and celebrated, “Essence” was regarded as the Song of the summer and its status as 2021 Song of the summer was sealed with a Justin Bieber feature that saw it rise to record-setting positions on international charts.

When we thought we have seen it all, in entered TikTok the Social Media App that generated the sweeping force that took Alan Walker’s “Faded” from relative obscurity to a global hit with a billion streams. This time, TikTok turned its attention to CKay a rising talent from Nigeria. The song was “Love Nwantiti” and absolutely nothing could have prepared the world for what was about to happen. When CKay released “Love Nwantiti” in 2019, it was a decent single that captured the special talents of the crooner. The 2020 remix with Joeboy and Kuami Eugene gave the song some boost and brought it to the fringes of what had the potential to be a widely popular song. Two years after CKay released “Love Nwantiti,” the song began generating buzz on TikTok after a DJ faded out the beat and the clean vocals left many hooked.

It was uphill from there and the single continued to grow in strength. “Love Nwantiti” was topping weekly YouTube global streams like it was nothing. It was rising astronomically on Spotify and radio stations across the globe were playing it. The single swept the globe in pandemic style and boy did everyone catch the virus. There were covers after covers released from artists in different parts of the world. The viral nature of the single was nothing like Nigeria nor Africa had ever seen. Thanks to TikTok, when the world least expected a rising talent from Nigeria was topping charts in parts of the world that had previously never heard his music. TikTok took CKay from an upcoming star to having the number one song in the world.

“Love Nwantiti” holds the record of the most streamed Afrobeats or African song Spotify breaking the record previously held by Master KG’s “Jerusalema”. The single also holds the YouTube Afrobeats record with over 700 million streams. On the international charts, “Love Nwantiti” made a mark on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as peaking at NO.2 on Billboard’s Global singles chart. And on TikTok where it all began, it boasts of over a billion streams. It’s this extraordinary feat that has made “Love Nwantiti” the Global Afrobeats Song of 2021. The single has thrown CKay into international fame and the song’s astounding success has done a great service for the upward mobility of Afrobeats.

It was Paulo Coelho who said that “And when a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream”. For CKay, all he ever wanted to do was make the type of music that captured his essence and draws from the truest part of his being. The journey was by no means an easy one but at last with “Love Nwantiti” the universe conspired in his favor.

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” These again are the words of Paulo Coelho. Just like that, in a matter of months, a single went from nothing to becoming the NO.1 song in the world. Just like that, CKay was touring the world and performing his world-famous single to thousands of fans holding up their phones to capture the moment and waiting eagerly to join in on the chorus. And just like that “Love Nwantiti” is the Global Nigerian Song of 2021. The fairy tale story of CKay’s “Love Nwantiti” has been nothing but breathtaking and it will be incessantly revisited for generations.

This article is an excerpt from the vol 002 TurnTable Magazine, you can read the full magazine here

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