Nigerian young artist, Rema has become the first Afrobeats artiste to win at the prestigious MTV VMAs show.
At the just-ended awards ceremony that happened at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the Nigerian singer who was present at the show emerged as one of the winners of the night.
Rema and Selena Gomez’s chart-topping track ‘Calm Down Remix’ was announced as the Best Afrobeats Song at the MTV Video Music Awards.
This becomes a historic moment for Rema as his win makes him the first Arobeats artiste to grab a VMAs plaque.
This is the first time the Best Afrobeats Song category has been introduced to the awards scheme.
The original version of the Nigerian musician’s midtempo hit “Calm Down” arrived a year ago as the second single from his March 2022 debut studio album, Rave & Roses. The enticing, ambient song finds Rema pleading with a young woman at a local club to trust that his intentions are pure.
The track, produced by fellow Nigerian native Andre Vibez, oozes with his signature style of Afrobeats, which he calls Afro-rave — a subgenre influenced by his love for hip-hop, African music, lo-fi and alternative.
The “Calm Down” remix reached a new No. 26 high on this week’s Billboard Hot 100 and holds its top position on the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart for a 23rd week.
Billboard spoke with the rising artist about the making of his biggest hit to date, his plans to give back to Nigeria and pushing Afrobeats forward.
See the moment Rema and Selena won the award below: