Nigerian singer Rema and BTS star Jungkook top first Official Mena Chart

The top 20 will be updated every Tuesday and is built from streaming figures across music streaming platforms.

Jungkook performs Dreamers during the opening ceremony of the Qatar World Cup. Getty Images
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The Middle East and North Africa now has a music chart of its own, which was launched by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia.

Calm Down by Nigerian artist Rema is the inaugural No 1 in the new Official Mena Chart.

The ranking is decided based on streaming figures across music streaming platforms.

The weekly top 20 will be updated and released on Tuesdays.

Calm Down’s regional success is not surprising considering it has been a global hit, ranking in the top 10 of charts in Europe, the UK and the US.

Released in February, the Afropop track received a second wind in August thanks to a solid remix featuring Selena Gomez.

“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 number one,” Rema said.

“I am so happy that you are enjoying the song and very proud to be the first artist to reach number one.”

Other songs in the Official Mena Chart include Ba'amaret Meen by Saudi singer Farid at No 2 and Dreamers by BTS star Jungkook at No 3.

The latter is one of three official World Cup songs in the list, the others being Arhbo by Ozuna, Gims and RedOne, and Shakira's Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) from the 2010 tournament.

Announcing the charts at the XP Music Futures conference in Riyadh, Rawan Al Dabbas, regional director of the IFPI described the Official Mena Chart as the “definitive record” for the music industry in the region with data supplied by the major players, including streaming services Anghami, Apple Music, Deezer and Spotify, and video-sharing platform YouTube.

"This is great for the artists because they can now be recognised for their commercial success in the region," she tells The National.

"The chart will also help the industry develop as it definitely guides record labels by giving them an understanding of what is trending and what artists are resonating in this part of the world."

What is the IFPI?

The arrival of the Official Mena Chart is a milestone for the regional chapter of the IFPI, which launched in May.

Other initiatives on the cards are specific charts for countries in the Mena region and the establishment of a regional music collection agency, an organisation that collects royalties on behalf of record labels.

These moves will not only elevate and align the region’s industry practices with major international music markets, they will also mark the arrival of a powerful music organisation in the Arab world.

Founded in 1933 and with a main base in London, the IFPI is a non-profit organisation representing the interests of more than 8,000 record labels spanning 70 countries.

The Mena chapter, with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, joins a network of regional offices including those in Hong Kong, Miami and Nairobi.

The IFPI also counts the British Phonographic Industry as a member, the organisation behind the UK’s annual Brit Awards.

Updated: November 30, 2022, 4:28 AM