Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ Sets Record For An Africa-Based Artist On The Billboard Hot 100: ‘Trying To Hold In The Tears’

·2 min read

Let’s give it up to Nigerian artist Rema, also known as Divine Ikubor, for achieving his career-first Billboard Hot 100 top 10 entry. His hit song, featuring Selena Gomez, has over 230 million views on YouTube, making it the most-watched Nigerian music video.

The post Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ Sets Record For An Africa-Based Artist On The Billboard Hot 100: ‘Trying To Hold In The Tears’ appeared first on Blavity.

Coming from his debut album Rave & Roses, “Calm Down” had a one-year turnaround after being released in February 2022. The song, distributed through record labels Jonzing World, Mavin, SMG Music, Virgin and Interscope, was the second single set to release from the album and quickly charted at No. 2 on the Billboard Albums chart.

This Billboard charting remix has earned Rema his first RIAA platinum plaque and is projected to earn over two million units in sales.

It has now hit No. 8 on the chart, becoming the highest-charting song from an Africa-based lead artist in hot 100 history.

“Trying to hold in the tears, I know how hard I worked to get my sound here, I’m grateful to God for how far I’ve come. Love to the ones who believed, love to the Queen @selenagomez,” Rema wrote on social media.

The post featured a photo of his Billboard charting song along with a photo of himself in a dark-lighted room while wearing a black skully and black puffer coat.

The “Calm Down” remix was released in August and has held the No. 1 spot for 29 weeks on both Global Excl. U.S. and U.S. Afrobeats Songs charts.

“I don’t really do remixes — most of my songs are solo or features. I wanted a female voice on the song. The song was already blowing up, so I felt like we needed someone that could take it up to the next level. From our discussions, planning, and available contacts and friendship, Selena was the best bet,” Rema told Billboard.

“Every day I wake up to good news. Not just good news about how well my career is going; it’s about how well my culture is flying. Afrobeats is going to the next level. This song is opening doors and bridges. Listeners want to know what more is coming from Nigeria, what more is coming from Africa. I’m so happy,” he added.

Rema has now surpassed Wizkid’s “Essence” remix feat Tems and Justin Bieber as the highest charting African song on Billboard Hot 100.