20 Jul 2018

Who are the stars on Spotify's fastest growing playlists: ‘Afro Bashment’?

We’ve uncovered the future stars on Spotify’s fastest-growing playlists. This week, we take a look at Afro Bashment.

For too many years, black artists have been pigeonholed by the mainstream media. However, following the rapid growth of grime, we are beginning to see more diverse sounds break into the charts and onto hugely influential Spotify playlists.

Using our music scouting platform, we’ve analysed a data set of over 1300 influential Spotify playlists (those with over 10,000 followers), to uncover the future stars on the fastest growing playlists.

The Rise of Afro Bashment

Afro bashment, also known as Afro trap, Afro swing and Afro hop has developed in a similar way to grime. However, at its core are elements of funky house, which give it a warmer and more upbeat feel. Blending African, Caribbean and UK slang, the genre has taken on a form which encompasses multiple heritages.

Afro bashment is enjoying a rapid rise, with a new wave of artists enjoying mainstream success. The statistics speak for themselves. Spotify’s ‘Afro Bashment’ playlist has experienced a huge 73% increase in followers in the last six months, growing by 67,272 followers to 159, 147.

So who are the stars on Spotify’s fastest growing playlists?

AJ X Deno

AJ Jacobs and Deno Driz, better known as AJ X Deno enjoyed significant attention with the release of their viral hit “Know Me”. Deno had already become a social media sensation in his own right after sharing schoolyard vocal freestyle clips on Instagram. His impromptu cover of Gecko’s “Over and Under” went viral and he has since picked up more than 120k followers.

With Deno’s smooth vocal and AJ Jacobs bars, AJ X Deno have picked up over 815,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Despite their young ages,  17 and 15 retrospectively, the duo have a made a real name for themselves. Having been championed by Stormzy and Chris Brown, the duo continue to go from strength to strength.

With the release of their latest track “London”, the duo have picked up over 3.9m playlist followers. This week, they’ve enjoyed a 9.47% increase in their direct artist following, which now stands at 7,251, illustrating that they are picking up genuine engagement with new fans (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform). The pair will be taking over Omeara London on the 6th August with a homecoming show.


21-year-old Swarmz is a fast-rising star who has built a concrete reputation as one of the most exciting rappers of 2018. His breakthrough hit “Lyca” entered the Spotify viral chart at #14 and has picked up over 8.2 million streams since its release.

Melodic Afro bashment at its finest, the single is a party-starter, fusing a bouncy afro-beat with underground UK rap. The London rapper has picked up over 1.5 million playlist followers this week, nearly four months after the release of his hit single. Similarly to AJ X Deno, Swarmz is enjoying strong artist follower growth, with a 14.96% increase over the past seven days taking his total to over 5,800 (Instrumental Music Scouting Platform).

Check back here next week as we delve into another fast-growing Spotify playlists to unearth future stars.

To find out how Instrumental could solve your music scouting challenges, get in touch via hello@weareinstrumental.com OR request a demo.