According to a recent report on listening patterns in Kenya published by Spotify, Gen-Z streams of Zilizopendwa and Rhumba grew by 110%.

The rise in listenership over the last year has been sparked on the platform by the creation of a dedicated playlist dubbed City Express launched in February 2023.

This trend is also buoyed by the popularity of musicians such as Okello Max, Bien, Bensoul and ItsYaba to mention a few, whose music is inspired by the two 80s/90s genres.

“One would expect that City Express’ top listenership to be millennials, specifically 30-year-olds as they are more familiar with Zilizopendwa and Rhumba, but the 30-34-year-olds only contribute to 16% of the playlist’s streams,” the report said.

“Data over the last 90 days shows that 18-24-year-olds are surprisingly the largest audience, holding 39% of City Express streams. 25-29-year-olds are next holding 32% of City Express listenership,” the report continued.

Explaining the number, Spotify argued that the numbers pointed to upbringing.

“Gen Z’s parents are Gen X who were the original fans and artists of the sound. This could explain this age group’s fascination with the genre, as it feels nostalgic.

“Over the last year, the playlist has grown by 121% overall, while Gen Z streams of the playlist grew by 110%.”

The playlist is also popular beyond Kenya.

Tanzania and Uganda are the second and third biggest streaming while South Africa and Nigeria round up the top five respectively.

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