Nigerian singer, songwriter, and rapper, Rema, added another accolade to his music career with his latest feat in Guinness World Records history. His hit song, ‘Calm Down (Remix), featuring Selena Gomez, has set a record as the first No. 1 hit on the Official MENA Chart – the world’s first regional streaming chart.
‘Calm Down’ was initially released as part of Rema’s maiden studio album, Rave & Roses, which was released on March 25, 2022. The remixed version, featuring American superstar, Selena Gomez, which further boosted the song, was released in August 2022.
On November 29, 2022, IFPI – a body representing the recording industry worldwide, launched MENA Chart with Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ as the first ever MENA Chart No. 1 song.
According to the IFPI, the Official MENA Chart is the first regional music streaming chart in the world, and the first-ever official chart in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). MENA Chart is supported by IFPI and includes music streaming data from many platforms, including Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify, and YouTube.
Reacting to the news, Rema said, “I’d like to thank all of my fans across the region who streamed ‘Calm Down’ and helped it to become the first ever Official MENA Chart #1! I am so happy that you are enjoying the song and very proud to be the first artist to reach #1. Thanks also to the team at my label for their support.”
‘Calm Down’ topped the Indian Music Industry Chart on May 8, 2023, while its Remix version peaked at No. 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making the artist the first Nigerian singer to hold a top 5 song as a lead act. Additionally, ‘Calm Down (Remix) by Rema and ‘Essence’ by Wizkid hold the record of the longest charting African songs in the history of the US Billboard Hot 100.
The hit song peaked at No. 1 on the Canadian Billboard Hot 100, making Rema once again, the first Nigerian act to top the chart as a lead artist.
According to the Guardian Nigeria, “The track’s success on Anghami’s platform was driven by its popularity in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Rema’s achievement is particularly noteworthy because he is not from the MENA region. His success on the chart is a testament to how the power of music transcends geographical boundaries and connects with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
It also highlights the increasingly global reach of African music, which has been gaining popularity in recent years, thanks to artists like Burna Boy, Wizkid, and Davido.”