About a year ago, Spotify launched in more than 40 new markets across Africa, including Kenya. As Kenyans have become more familiar with Spotify, they have used the platform more, and broadened their tastes. Since launch, the average number of artists streamed per user has grown by 17%.

Below is a breakdown of how Kenyans, and the world, has listened to Kenyan music for the past one year.

  • The top cities where Kenyans streamed from are Nairobi, Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu.
  • The most streamed Kenyan artist is Sauti Sol, followed by Sol Records’ Nviiri The Storyteller. Otile Brown is third, then Nyashinski and Sol Records artist, Bensoul.
  • Niko Sawa by Nviiri The Storyteller and Bien is the most streamed Kenyan song. Nikita Kering’s Ex is second, while Nairobi by Bensoul comes in third. H_art the Band’s My Jaber (Friday) is fourth, followed by Dusuma by Otile Brown.
  • Local artists have found a megaphone for their work, and the top exported local artists are Sauti Sol, followed by Jeff Kaale, then Otile Brown. Ayub Ogada is the fourth top exported local artist and Nviiri The Storyteller rounds off the top five.
  • Eight out of the ten songs exported are all collaborations, probably due to the combination of two different fan bases. Wanani Remix by Bahati, Benzema, Mejja, Odi Wa Muranga and Petra Ssaru is the top exported song, with most of the plays coming in from the USA. Bensoul’s collaboration with Mejja, Nviiri The Storyteller and Sauti Sol in Nairobi puts it in second place. It is followed by Melanin, a collaboration between Sauti Sol and Patoranking. Ayub Ogada’s Kothbiro is fourth and the only non-collaboration song in the top five. Extravaganza, the song by Sauti Sol and featuring Bensoul, Crystal Asige, Kaskazini and Nviiri The Storyteller, is fifth.
  • The top emerging artist is Wanavokali, and the top local genre is Gengetone.
  • There were a total of 1.2million user generated playlists, but the Spotify playlist that users loved most is Hot Hits Kenya. Playlists that are uniquely local are a core part of Spotify and a number have been created in the year since launch.

Listed below is the full breakdown of the top lists.

Most streamed Kenyan artists

  1. Sauti Sol
  2. Nviiri The Storyteller
  3. Otile Brown
  4. Nyashinski
  5. Bensoul
  6. Wakadinali
  8. H_art the band
  9. Mejja
  10. Khaligraph Jones

Most streamed Kenyan songs

  1. Nviiri The Storyteller, Bien – Niko Sawa
  2. Nikita Kering’ – Ex
  3. Bensoul, Mejja, Nviiri The Storyteller, Sauti Sol – Nairobi
  4. H_art the Band, Brizy Annechild – My Jaber (Friday)
  5. Otile Brown, Meddy – Dusuma
  6. Nviiri The Storyteller – Kitenge
  7. Chris Kaiga, Mutoriah – I Want
  8. Chris Kaiga, Nyashinski  – Hapo Tu
  9. NDOVU KUU, Khaligraph Jones, Boutross Munene – NDOVU NI KUU
  10. Mbuzi Gang, Mejja – Shamra Shamra

Top exported Kenya artists

  1. Sauti Sol
  2. Jeff Kaale
  3. Otile Brown
  4. Ayub Ogada
  5. Nviiri The Storyteller
  6. Willy Paul
  7. Bensoul
  8. Stella Mwangi
  9. Nyashinski
  10. Karun

Top exported Kenyan songs

  1. Bahati, Benzema, Mejja, Odi Wa Muranga, Petra Ssaru – Wanani – Remix
  2. Bensoul, Mejja, Nviiri The Storyteller, Sauti Sol – Nairobi
  3. Sauti Sol, Patoranking – Melanin
  4. Ayub Ogada – Kothbiro
  5. Sauti Sol, Bensoul, Crystal Asige, Kaskazini, Nviiri The Storyteller – Extravaganza
  6. Sauti Sol, Nyashinski – Short N Sweet
  7. Willy Paul, Alaine – I Do
  8. Otile Brown, Meddy – Dusuma
  9. Sauti Sol – Suzanna
  10. Sauti Sol, RedFourth Chorus – Kuliko Jana

Emerging / breakout artists

  1. Wanavokali
  2. Taylor Torch
  3. Bon’eye
  4. Groovy Jo
  5. Nikita Kering’

Top Spotify playlists

  1. Hot Hits Kenya
  2. Today’s Top Hits
  3. African Heat