The top songs and artists loved by Kenyans in 2021 on Spotify Wrapped

Music streaming giant Spotify today unveiled Wrapped — its annual round-up of the top artists, albums, songs and playlists of the year as streamed by users on the platform from around the world.

In 2021, we redefined “normal” and got used to living in a world that’s constantly keeping us on our toes. 2021 is also the year when Spotify officially launched in Kenya. So what were the soundtracks that defined this period for Kenya? Did Kenyans turn to homegrown talent for their dose of entertainment, or were global stars the preference? Which music genre dominated the Spotify charts, and which playlists got the most love? 

Below are the results of Spotify’s full 2021 Wrapped results in Kenya. 

  • International star Drake takes the top spot as the most streamed artist in the country. Kenya’s  Sauti Sol continue with their domination, taking up second place, followed by Justin Bieber, then Kanye West. Rounding up the top five is Nigerian superstar Burna Boy.
  • Nviiri the Storyteller’s Niko Sawa (feat. Bien) tops the list as most streamed song in Kenya, capping off what has been a great year for the Sol Generation artist. Omah Lay’s Understand is second, followed by MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name) by Lil Nas X, with Dua Lipa’s Levitating (feat. DaBaby) being the fourth most streamed song. The fifth most streamed song is Doja Cat’s Kiss Me More (feat. SZA). 
  • Drake makes an appearance once more with his album Certified Lover Boy being the most streamed album in Kenya. Doja Cat’s album, Planet Her got a lot of love from Kenyans, landing it at number two. Justice by Justin Bieber is third, followed by Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon by Pop Smoke who, even after his death, continues to top the charts. Finishing off the top five is Sauti Sol’s latest album, Midnight Train.
  • Niko Sawa by Nviiri the Storyteller (feat. Bien) is the most streamed Kenyan song. Ex by the young and rising star Nikita Kering’ is the second most streamed Kenyan song. It seemed to have been the go-to heartbreak song of the year — it was added to over 600 breakup playlists. The other soundtrack that defined Nairobi’s dating scene was Bensoul’s Nairobi (feat. Mejja), which lands at number three. Kitenge by Nviiri the Storyteller is fourth, followed by Hapo Tu by Nyashinski (feat. Chris Kaiga).
  • The most streamed Gengetone song is Shamra Shamra by Mbuzi Gang. Seventeen-year-old Trio Mio’s hit Cheza Kama Wewe makes the list as the second most streamed song. The third is Nyashinki’s Hapo Tu (feat. Chris Kaiga), followed by Chris Kaiga’s Zimenice and Willis Raburu’s Kalale.
  • The playlist that kept Kenyan Spotify listener’s jamming was Today’s Top Hits
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Also starting today, eligible users can access their personalised Wrapped experience exclusively in the Spotify mobile app (iOS and Android). 

The Wrapped personalised experience is full of features that connect fans with each other and creators. Here are a few cool ones to look out for: 

  • Shareability – Fans will be able to share their Wrapped cards on social channels like Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram,TikTok and Facebook. Additionally fans can download their share cards directly from Spotify to their camera roll. 
  • Data stories to express a year in audio – In addition to the top artists, genres, songs, podcasts and minutes listened, the personalised Wrapped experience includes several features, including: 2021: The Movie, Your Audio Aura and 2021 Wrapped: Blend. Check out Spotify For the Record for all the details on these new features. 
  • Exclusive experiences for top fans – Spotify has added a special surprise: videos from more than 170 artists and creators thanking fans for having them in their Wrapped. These thank you videos will appear if fans have a song by one of the participating artists in their “Your Top Songs 2021” or “Your Artists Revealed” playlists. 

The full breakdown of the top lists is below. 

Spotify Wrapped top lists for Kenya in 2021 

Most streamed artists in Kenya

  1. Drake
  2. Sauti Sol
  3. Justin Bieber
  4. Kanye West
  5. Burna Boy
  6. Young Thug
  7. Doja Cat
  8. Pop Smoke
  9. The Weeknd
  10. Travis Scott

Most streamed tracks in Kenya

  1. Nviiri The Storyteller – Niko Sawa
  2. Omah Lay – Understand
  3. Lil Nas X – MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)
  4. Dua Lipa – Levitating (feat. DaBaby)
  5. Doja Cat – Kiss Me More (feat. SZA)
  6. Justin Bieber – Peaches (feat. Daniel Caesar & Giveon)
  7. Lil Nas X – INDUSTRY BABY (feat. Jack Harlow)
  8. Polo G – RAPSTAR
  9. The Kid LAROI – STAY (with Justin Bieber)
  10. Olamide – Infinity (feat. Omah Lay)

Most streamed Kenyan songs

  1. Nviiri The Storyteller – Niko Sawa
  2. Nikita Kering’ – Ex
  3. Bensoul – Nairobi (feat. Mejja)
  4. Nviiri The Storyteller – Kitenge
  5. Nyashinski – Hapo Tu (feat. Chris Kaiga)
  6. H_art the Band – My Jaber (Friday)
  7. Chris Kaiga – I Want
  8. Mbuzi Gang – Shamra Shamra
  9. Otile Brown – Dusuma
  10. Sauti Sol – Suzanna

Most streamed albums in Kenya

  1. Certified Lover Boy – Drake
  2. Planet Her – Doja Cat
  3. Justice – Justin Bieber
  4. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon – Pop Smoke
  5. Midnight Train – Sauti Sol
  6. MONTERO – Lil Nas X
  7. Donda – Kanye West
  8. Made in Lagos – WizKid
  9. Future Nostalgia – Dua Lipa
  10. SOUR – Olivia Rodrigo
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Most streamed Kenyan artists

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

Best of Gengetone

  1. Mbuzi Gang – Shamra Shamra  
  2. Trio Mio – Cheza Kama Wewe 
  3. Nyashinski – Hapo Tu (feat. Chris Kaiga) 
  4. Chris Kaiga – Zimenice 
  5. Willis Raburu – Kalale 
  6. Dantez 254 – Ala 
  7. Ethic Entertainment – Daktari 
  8. Ochungulo Family – Pandemik 
  9. Parroty – Lewa 
  10. Noti Flow – Foto Moto

Most streamed playlists

  1. Today’s Top Hits
  2. African Heat
  3. Hot Hits Kenya
  4. RapCaviar
  5. Made in Kenya
  6. Mood Booster
  7. Mega Hit Mix
  8. Soft Pop Hits
  9. Top Gaming Tracks
  10. lofi beats

Spotify has also rolled out its Wrapped creator experience for artists. With access to their own individualised Wrapped microsite experience, creators can dive into all the ways in which their fans listened this year. Check out Spotify for Artists.

Odipo Riaga
Managing Editor at KachTech Media
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