Spotify recognized the prominence of Afro-R&B in Africa’s musical tapestry in 2016, leading to the creation of “TANTALIZERS“, one of the platform’s early afro-leaning playlists.
This playlist acknowledges the deep-rooted connection of R&B within the hearts of African artists and listeners, becoming an integral part of the continent’s diverse musical landscape.
“TANTALIZERS” celebrates soulful R&B melodies infused with local flavours from across Africa, offering a curated experience that goes beyond showcasing the finest songwriting and tunes the continent has to offer. R&B’s magic lies in its ability to transcend language and location, connecting listeners through universal themes of love, passion, and emotion.
The playlist, curated by Benewaah Boateng, Spotify’s West Africa Editor, takes listeners on a sonic journey through the best R&B and Afro-R&B tracks from Africa’s leading vocalists. It reflects the unity found in the genre itself, bridging cultural gaps and uniting diverse audiences under the common themes it explores.
“TANTALIZERS” attracts a diverse audience, with a slightly higher representation of male listeners, reflecting the true nature of African men as avid lovers. The playlist’s fanbase extends predominantly from Kenya, highlighting the growing R&B and R&B fusion scene in East Africa, with Nigeria and South Africa following closely.
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While Afrobeats and Amapiano dominate current musical conversations, R&B is quietly but steadily making its mark, offering a genre that feels both nostalgic and fresh across generations of music enthusiasts.
The most-streamed songs on “TANTALIZERS” share common elements – a lively bounce and up-tempo melodies. Tracks like Jeune Lio‘s “Test Me” and Tyla‘s “Girl Next Door” have become instant favourites, thanks to their engaging production that gets listeners grooving.
According to Spotify data, Thursdays and Fridays emerge as the top listening days for “TANTALIZERS”, driven by the weekend vibe that Africans love. The playlist sets the mood for the leisure of the weekend, providing a soundtrack for deeper connections.
Among the rising stars featured on “TANTALIZERS”, watch out for Xenia Manasseh‘s exceptional songwriting skills and the soul-touching melodies of Botswana native Titose. These talents represent the future of African R&B, offering a unique blend reminiscent of modern American R&B artists like Frank Ocean, Bryson Tiller, and SZA.
“TANTALIZERS” stands as the leading R&B playlist across anglophone, francophone, and lusophone Africa, attracting a majority of listeners aged 18-29.
The playlist’s sweet spot of 45 to 60 songs ensures a well-balanced musical journey for its audience.