Nigerian artist Rema has topped the first Official MENA Chart, newly launched by trade body IFPI and covering 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
His track “Calm Down,” featuring Selena Gomez, tops the first list to calculate music listening on all major streaming platforms and markets across the region. The MENA singles chart includes music streaming data across Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify, and YouTube.
The song was released in its original version in February, as the second single from Rema’s Rave & Roses album. It was a No.1 hit in Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, and Romania, and a Top 3 success in many other countries. The remix featuring Gomez. which followed in August, has given further international recognition to “Calm Down,” which is currently in its second week at its peak UK position of No.10.
The chart compilers BMAT are operating under IFPI’s global charts principles and methodologies, with the Top 20 to be announced each Tuesday. The first countdown also features Egyptian artists Farid, Ahmed Saad, Wegz, and Saudi artist Ayed. Two songs from the official tournament soundtrack of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar are in the chart, Ozuna, GIMS, and RedOne’s “Arhbo” and “Dreamers” by Jung Kook of BTS.
“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,” says Rema. “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.”
IFPI CEO Frances Moore notes: “I’d like to congratulate Rema on becoming the first ever MENA #1. ‘Calm Down’ is a song which has clearly captured the imagination of fans across the region.
“The launch of the Official MENA Chart represents a great step forward for this vibrant and growing music market,” she goes on. “Music fans can celebrate the performance of their favorite artists and songs in a chart which captures music listening across all major streaming platforms and markets within the region using IFPI’s unique and accurate charts methodology.”