Music

Sounds of the Olympics: AP Dhillon, Bad Bunny, Gyakie, Gen Hoshino, more

Get to know these 12 chart-topping artists from around the world.

Get to know these 12 chart-topping artists from around the world

Highlighting a dozen songs from some of the biggest artists around the world including Ghana's Gyakie, Canadian-Indian artist AP Dhillon, and Japan's Gen Hoshino. (Gyakie, AP Dhillon, and Gen Hoshino images courtesy of the artists' Facebook pages)

Sports and music intersect frequently, but rarely with the global spectacle that is the Olympics. One of the best things about being an at-home armchair expert of the Olympics is discovering how deeply and quickly you care about things like "clean" dives and landing dismounts. The other best thing is finding out everything you can about all of the competing countries as you fall in love with different athletes from all over the world. 

One way to get to know a country is to check out what's charting — musically, at least. CBC Music has chosen a selection of songs from around the world to highlight a dozen countries and their homegrown musical superstars as a way to get to know the sound of this year's Olympic Games. 


Country: Andorra
Artist: Nina Rossell
Song: "Le bail" 

This electro-hip-hop track from emerging artist Nina Rossell has been at the top of the Andorran pop charts for 280-plus days. 


Country: Australia
Artist: Masked Wolf 
Song: "Astronaut in the Ocean" 

Since its release last October, Masked Wolf's electro-hip-hop banger "Astronaut in the Ocean" has become a 2021 sleeper hit, accruing almost 200 million views on YouTube, 626 million plays on Spotify, and hitting both the Australian and U.S. Billboard charts. 


Country: Burundi
Artist: Sat-B
Song: "Beautiful" 

Sat-B's sound is a vibrant explosion across hip hop, Afropop and R&B and his newest hit, "Beautiful" (featuring Meddy), has racked up almost 2.5 million views on YouTube alone since December 2020.


Country: Canada/India
Artist: AP Dhillon
Song: "Ma Belle" feat. Amari

AP Dhillon, who grew up in Ontario and was born in India, has been blowing up charts around the world since 2019 with his Punjabi R&B hip-hop tracks. Dhillon's most recent hit, "Ma Belle," entered Apple Canada's Top 100 during its release week of July 15. In the week since "Ma Belle" dropped, it has garnered more than 2 million views on YouTube and 1 million plays on Spotify.


Country: Egypt
Artist: Hamo Bika
Song: "قمر التيكتوكايه"

In Billboard's survey of the "most-watched homegrown artists across Africa," Bika took top honours for Egypt with more than 736 million views. 


Country: Ghana
Artist: Gyakie
Song: "Forever" (remix) feat. Omah Lay 

A rising star of Afrobeat R&B, Gyakie's "Forever" has climbed the charts in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, and her new remix featuring Nigerian singer Omah Lay has accrued more than 12 million views on YouTube since its release this past March.  


Country: Hong Kong
Artist: Mirror
Song: "Warrior" 

Since the 12-member band got its start through the 2018 television talent competition Good Night Show: King Maker, Mirror has been credited with "reviving" Cantopop. Their song "Warrior" is a percussive blast and a total ear worm, and fans have responded, pushing the song to almost six million plays on YouTube and Spotify combined since its release in March. 


Country: Italy
Artist: Måneskin
Song: "Zitti e buoni" 

Since winning the 2021 EuroVision Song Contest earlier this year with "Zitti e buoni," the Italian hard rock band has climbed the charts and racked up more than 70 million views on YouTube and 166 million spins on Spotify.


Country: Japan (host country)
Artist: Gen Hoshino
Song: "Fushigi" 

The 40-year-old musician and actor has the No. 1 song on the Billboard's Hot 100 Japan charts, and the piano-driven R&B track has been played more than 16 million times on Spotify and YouTube combined since its April release.


Country: Puerto Rico
Artist: Bad Bunny
Song: "Yonaguni" 

Puerto Rico's pride and joy (eight of his songs are on the most recent weekly Top 40 chart alone), Bad Bunny's reggaeton and Latin trap tracks are global smash hits, including "Yonaguni," which has accrued almost 500 million views/plays on YouTube and Spotify combined since dropping in June.


Country: South Korea
Artist: BTS
Song: "Permission to Dance" 

This is just the latest song from the iconic South Korean boy band to top Billboard's K-pop 100 chart as well as Billboard's Hot 100 and Billboard's Songs of the Summer charts.


Country: Vietnam
Artist: Pháo
Song: "2 Phút Hơn" (Kaiz Remix)

The electronic dance track "2 Phút Hơn" has enjoyed numerous lives since 2020 thanks in part to TikTok dance challenges and this recent Kaiz remix which has more than 36 million plays/views on YouTube and Spotify since January 2021.

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