A bare-chested Diamond Platnumz was surprised by his record producers last week when they rocked up at his house with a cake iced with YouTube's logo to mark a milestone for the Tanzanian pop star. As he was filmed getting dressed, the year-old was proudly told by his team that he was the first sub-Saharan African singer to get one billion views on his YouTube channel. A post shared by Wasafi Classic Baby! Over the last 10 years, the award-winning musician has popularised "bongo flava" - a uniquely Tanzanian offering: romantic melodies with an urban beat influenced by traditional taarab music from the East African coast. It is difficult to assess the real significance of the one billion figure, given that Diamond Platnumz has more followers on Instagram than he does subscribers on YouTube - 9. DJ Edu says Instagram is more of an influencer of lifestyle and new platforms such as TikTok, which allows a second copyright free use of songs, are a great way of getting younger fans. More importantly for musicians in Africa, over the last decade YouTube has allowed them direct access to an audience, rather than relying on TV stations. Diamond Platnumz still languishes behind some North African stars, who have huge followings in the Middle East. And then there are African artists based elsewhere such as Malian-born singer Aya Nakamura, who trumps the be-jewelled Tanzanian musician, with more than 1. The year-old, who moved to France when she was a young girl, is best known for her hit Djadja.
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So how big is a billion views on YouTube?
Diamond Platinumz latest songs are increasingly gaining fame as his career broadens. Diamond is apparently registering a series of international collaborations featuring talented musicians in his recent video releases. Most of his music career centers around genres such as Afro-pop and Bongo Flavor. This year, "the boy from Tandale" has not disappointed his fanatics by releasing a number of Diamond Platinumz new songs. Here are some of his latest songs. Diamond teams up with Congolese musician Innoss'B for this new danceable song with rich African beats. The two singers showcase their dancing skills while accompanied by some of the best dancers in the region.
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