IFPI launches Official MENA chart, with Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ named as first No.1


Global recorded music body IFPI has launched the ‘Official MENA Chart’, which it calls the first-ever official chart in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The new singles chart includes music streaming data from Anghami, Apple, Deezer, Spotify and YouTube. The IFPI says that the chart captures music streaming from 13 markets across the MENA region, from Morocco in the West to UAE in the East – covering more than 300 million people.

The track Calm Down by Nigerian artist Rema has scored the first ever MENA Chart No.1.

According to the IFPI,  recorded music market revenues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region grew by 35% in 2021 – the fastest-growing region in the world.

The figures also showed that streaming represented some 95.3% of recorded music revenues in the region in 2021.

Following today’s chart launch, the regional top 20 tracks will be announced every Tuesday.

Elsewhere in the inaugural chart, Egyptian artists Farid, Ahmed Saad and Wegz and Saudi artist Ayed make it into the first ever Top 10 for the MENA region.

Meanwhile, two songs from the official FIFA World Cup soundtrack (Ozuna, GIMS and RedOne’s Arhbo and Jung Kook’s Dreamers) also feature in the top 10.

Shakira’s classic Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) – originally released for the 2010 World Cup – charts at No.9 and Tukoh Taka by Nicki Minaj, Maluma and Myriam Fares is at No.11.

The chart will be prepared each week by the charts compiler BMAT, in accordance with IFPI’s global charts principles and methodologies.

As well as the weekly charts updates, music fans in the region can look forward to a host of engaging articles and exclusive artist content at the official hub of music in MENA.

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 No.1.

“I am so happy that you are enjoying the song and very proud to be the first artist to reach No.1. Thanks also to the team at my label for their support.”

Frances Moore IFPI

“The launch of the Official MENA Chart represents a great step forward for this vibrant and growing music market.”

Frances Moore, IFPI 

Celebrating the launch of the chart IFPI’s CEO Frances Moore said: “I’d like to congratulate Rema on becoming the first ever MENA No.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. Music fans can celebrate the performance of their favourite 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.

“We look forward to celebrating the amazing artists that will feature in the top 20 each week and to continuing to develop charts in this exciting region.”

The chart’s official launch follows IFPI’s news from June that it had signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Economy (MoE) pledging “to support the continuing growth of the UAE’s recorded music business”.

According to the IFPI, the “landmark agreement” is “a first-of-its-kind for the region” that outlines several ways in which the MoE, IFPI and record companies operating in the UAE will collaborate.Music Business Worldwide

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