Editor's Review

While Kenyans faced tough economic challenges in 2023, the music scene thrived, despite being dominated by Nigerian musicians.

While Kenyans faced tough economic challenges in 2023, the music scene thrived, despite being dominated by Nigerian musicians.

Below are the top ten songs that kept spirits high and dominated both streaming charts and dance floors throughout the year. 

1. Rush - Ayra Starr

Released in September 2022, this song topped Spotify's Kenyan streams in 2023 and garnered over 282 million YouTube views. This viral afrobeat hit wasn't just catchy, it resonated with Kenyans who jammed to it.

2. Asiwaju - Ruger

Asiwaju was the second most streamed song by Kenyans on Spotify in 2023. Kenyans embraced its relatable lyrics, making it a club staple in particular. The song has over 80 million YouTube views since its release in December 2022.

File image of Ruger. 

3. Ta Ta Ta – Bayanni

Bayanni's Ta Ta Ta hit was Spotify's third most streamed song in Kenya. The energetic Afrobeat tune kept Kenyans dancing all year long, racking up over 32 million YouTube views in the process.

4. Bandana- Asake ft Fireboy DML

Asake and Fireboy teamed up in July 2022 to release the Bandana song which was well received by Kenyans. The song's smooth rhythm has made it popular in homes and nightclubs alike.

5. Cough (Odo) - Kizz Daniel

Released in 2022, Odo's engaging lyrics and vibrant energy continued to win Kenyan hearts in 2023. It was the fifth most streamed song on Spotify in 2023.

File image of Kizz Daniel.

6. No Body (feat. Bien) - Darassa

Tanzanian rapper Darassa in 2023 teamed up with Bien to release the hit song “No Body”. The lyrical prowess in the song made it become a fan favourite in Kenya in less than a month after it was released. It was among the miost steamed songs in Spotify while in You Tube it has over 8.4 million views.

7. Mwaki by Zerb ft. Sofiya Nzau

Mwaki took social media by storm, dominating charts in Kenya, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, and even the United States. Its success was driven by TikTok challenges and impressive Spotify streams.

The song originally belonged to Sofiya Nzau but Brazilian Deejay Zerb decided to add some beats to it and added more flavour to it.

8. Perfect Design – Nyashinski

Nyashinski returned to the spotlight in November with “Perfect Design”, a heartfelt song celebrating his love for his wife. This hit track has already captured 3.2 million YouTube views, showcasing Nyashinski's prowess when it comes to music.

File image of Nyashinski. 

9. Sisi ni Wale - Phina

Tanzanian singer and Songwriter Saraphina Michael popularly known as Phina in 2023 dropped the ‘Sisi Ni Wale” captivating song which celebrates resilience and faith in life.

The song which loosely translates to "We are the ones helped by God” is a captivating blend of Bongo Flava and Afrobeat and shares stories of struggle and doubt but ultimately conveys hope and determination.

The song’s lyrics which encourage perseverance gained Phina recognition in East Africa, particularly in Kenya. The song has over 2.7 million views on YouTube just two months after it was released.

10.Tik Toker - Soundkraft ft. Gody Tennor, Tipsy Gee, and Kappy

Arguably the most popular Arbantone song of the year, Tik Toker boasts over 2 million YouTube views. Its success owes much to TikTok challenges, where countless users created dance routines fuelled by the song's energetic rhythm.