As the year comes to a close, Manuel Ntoyai puts the spotlight on the most watched videos in 254 according to Google Kenya in 2017
For sometime, there has been a raging debate in entertainment circles with droves echoing that Kenyans do not support their own. Artistes have time and again shared their frustrations that they do not get the desired support from their fans with many alluding locals are quick to support foreign content.
Google Kenya recently unveiled a list of the most viewed YouTube videos locally, and from where we’re sitting, the industries’ worries are warranted. Out of the top 10, only two local music pieces made the cut; Malaika by Nyashinski and Yes I Do by Willy Paul featuring Jamaican songstress Alaine.
No 10 DJ KHALED FT RIHANNA & BRYSON TILLER — WILD THOUGHTS
The hip-hop song was written through the assistance of Canadian singer PartyNextDoor while production was done by the celebrated deejay. While everyone has been stirred by the fact that Khaled appointed his son Asahd as the executive producer of his 10th studio album, Grateful, the hit garnered over 500 million YouTube views.
No 9 HARMONIZE X RICH MAVOKO — SHOW ME
Kenyan dalliance with Bongo fleva music is an open secret and its effect can be seen with how often the TZ artistes storm 254. One of the label’s causing this is WCB Wasafi, an outfit that signed Rich Mavoko and Harmonize, among others.
One of the hits churned from Wasafi Records is Show Me, produced by the label’s main producer, Laizer Classics and sang by the pair (Mavoko and Harmonize). The video has over five million views.
No 8 FRENCH MONTANA FT SWAE LEE — UNFORGETTABLE
The video for the song was shot in Uganda and is the lead single off French Montana’s second album, Jungle Rules. He featured Swae Lee and is a collaborative effort between Epic Records and Bad Boy Records.
Once it hit the Kenyan airwaves, it was well received, to the extent that someone shot a video with local youngsters dancing the trending jig in Kenya, Odi Dance and once it went viral. The Morrocan-American rapper did a jig with the same moves, while giving a shout-out to his Kenyan fans. It has over 548 million views on YouTube.
No 7 LUIS FONSI FT DADDY YANKEE — DESPACITO
It is a song that topped many charts the world over, breaking records while setting new ones. The reggaeton-pop song by the two PuertoRicans artistes and later a remix version was released, which featured Canadian singer Justin Bieber.
Despacito is the world most viewed song and was the first to hit the milestone, having garnered over three billion YouTube views and became the first song to hit four billion views on October 11, 2017. Currently it has over four billion, four million views on YouTube.
No 6 DJ KHALED FT JUSTIN BIEBER, QUAVO, CHANCE THE RAPPER, LIL WAYNE — I’M THE ONE
Released by We The Best and Epic Records, I’m The One is a song written by DJ Khaled, Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne. It is also the second single from Khaled’s album, Grateful, and as mentioned earlier, its executive producer is Asahd Khaled. It has gathered over 876 million views on YouTube and was the first hip-hop song to debut atop the Billboard Hot 100 since 2010.
No 5 JASON DERULO FT NICKI MINAJ & TY DOLLA $IGN — SWALLA
When Jason visited 254 for Coke Studio Africa, his single Swalla was a global storm. Coming off his fifth studio album, 777, he featured Trinidadian rapper Nicki Minaj and American singer Ty Dolla $ign. With the celebrated hit maker gracing 254, it’s not rocket science the song got a mammoth viewership, which totaled to over 900 million.
No 4 DIAMOND PLATNUMZ FT NE-YO — MARRY YOU
Diamond Platnumz stated that it was a dream working with an artiste he grew up listening to and when he met Ne-Yo during the the 2015 MTV Africa Music Awards in Durban, the ball started rolling and they agreed to work together on a musical project.
When the two met during the Coke Studio Africa season three in Nairobi, the idea was conceptualised and Marry You was recorded. Given Kenyans love for Diamond and anything foreign, the song was an instant hit, with Wasafi Records producer Lazer being part of the production team behind the audio.
While Diamond is the first East African artiste to sign with Universal Records, this was also the first project he released since signing with the group. It has over 18 million views on YouTube.
No 3 NYASHINSKI — MALAIKA
The chemistry between Nyashinski and producer Cedo is immense and when the two hooked up for Malaika, the magic was clear for all to see. Malaika is a song that he told Spice earlier was meant to cater for the lovey dovey fans who felt left out after he released a number of hip-hop songs.
The video was directed by VJOne, and has over three million YouTube views making it his second most viewed video after Mungu Pekee’s lyric video, also boasting over three million views.
No 2 WILLY PAUL & ALAINE – I DO
Gospel star Willy Paul is as controversial as they come, but when it comes to making good music, few can rival him. Blessed with both writing and singing skills, Willy Paul’s decision to work with Jamaican songstress Alaine was received with mixed reactions, many saying that he had “lost” it.
But the success of the crossover, which has become an anthem in most weddings, has surprised many, both friends and foes. Produced by Teddy B and directed by Sammy D of True D Pictures, the song has over four million YouTube views.
No 1 ED SHEERAN – SHAPE OF YOU
Spicers favourite Brit ginger, not the royal in all his glory or Harry Potter’s BFF Rupert Grint, singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran topped Google Kenya’s list of the most watched YouTube video in 254 for his hit, Shape Of You.
The dancehall infused pop song was produced by both Sheeran and Steve Mac and peaked at number one on the singles charts of 44 countries. On YouTube, the song has over two billion views.