Kiyo marks the year with a massive new milestone.
Today (January 18), the Filipino hip-hop artist took to social media to reveal that he has hit over 1 million monthly listeners on the Spotify streaming platform.
1 million per month❤️🩹 pic.twitter.com/QyPzwHQwo7
— kiyo (@Yukihirorubio) 18 January 2023
Eight tracks from his 2021 full-length album, HARANASA dominates his top 10 most listened tracks with “Ikaw Lang” (Only You) streamed over 46 million times. Also in the top 10 are his 2022 singles “glass house” and “3:15,” his collaboration with Filipino singer-songwriter Syd Hartha.
In a exclusive chat with HipHopDX Asia in September last year ahead of his international debut performance at ASEAN Music Showcase Festival in Singapore, he said he believes in rethinking how rappers define success overseas.
He noted, “Back in our country, rappers want to go to the West, to America. I said to myself, ‘Why?’ Was here. This is our region. I think I’ll get there… I want to get there. I want to focus [on] my music more. I told myself that three years ago, actually. I manifest it and right now I am here [in Singapore]. It’s a big, big opportunity and I expect more.”
Huge streaming numbers and social media followings are not entirely uncommon for independent Asian hip-hop artists and those signed but not under a major label.
This can be attributed to strong support from a highly engaged community that often creates opportunities – such as establishing their own labels and producing their own events and merchandise, among others – for themselves in the absence of mainstream or corporate backing.
Most recently, kiyo released a nasty new single, “MAMAPATAWADMALALANA!” (Mama, Sorry It’s Gotten Worse!) a departure from his usual lo-fi, R&B-inflected style.
Stream kiyos HARANASA album below: