Spotify has announced the biggest listening trends that defined 2023, as revealed by its editors who monitored data for the past year.

Most notably, pop culture trends fueled listening among Spotify users, as seen in themed playlists and song spikes. “Musically, 2023 was defined by the return of major female pop stars, sonic diversity that topped the charts, and a global music atmosphere that gave rise to powerful genres,” Spotify wrote.

The streaming service left no stone unturned, checking Spotify user activity to get the most insights out of 2023. “Whether it was blockbuster movie soundtracks that grabbed the world’s attention, viral social media moments that bubbled up to the mainstream, or classic genres finding new fans in Gen Z, our experts were on top of it all.”

Here are the biggest listening trends for Spotify Wrapped 2023, as officially unwrapped by Spotify itself.


The Nigeria and Ghana-born genre is an umbrella term that mixes rap, dancehall, R&B, and house as heard in 21st-century Africa. Spotify recognized Afrobeats as one of its fastest-growing genres, expanding by 550 percent since 2017 with emerging audiences in Mexico and India. This year, Rema’s “Calm Down” became the first Afrobeats artist-led track to reach a billion streams and earned the star a Grammy nomination.


Alt-Country is a country music trend with an acoustic, gritty, slow-building sound usually heard in alternative country and folk playlists. Its success built up this year with hits like Dylan Gossett’s “Coal”. Now, Alt-Country has “fully moved into the mainstream with songs that have been fan favorites across [Spotify’s] flagship playlists.” 


Prior to the summer release of Barbie, Spotify observed “Barbiecore” aesthetics rise in the pop culture scene. “Once we got word that Barbie was going to feature a star-studded soundtrack with hits like Nicki Minaj, Ice Spice, and Aqua’s ‘Barbie World’ and Dua Lipa’s ‘Dance The Night,’ we brought all things Barbie to life on Spotify through the ‘pinkification’ of several playlist covers, new editorial playlists, and partner playlists.”


House is an original genre of dance music that has become more popular since the pandemic. Throughout the year, Spotify observed massive house hits resonate with international fans including Peggy Gou‘s “(It Goes Like) Nanana.” Additional House artists on the radar include Fred again.., Black Coffee, Chris Lake, and FISHER, among others.

Hyper Techno

High-BPM dance pop songs in general grew in volume over the past year. This was seen in a wave of new tracks employing a “harder sound using classic techno and big room beats and basslines.” Spotify noticed a surge in streams, especially from European Gen Zs of techno-infused songs, such as Niklas Dee’s “Not Fair,” Creeds’ “Push Up,” and BENNETT’s “Vois sur ton chemin.”

Indian Classical Music

Indian and worldwide listeners recorded an increased consumption of Indian classical instrumental music through Spotify. In 2022 and 2023, India’s classical music consumption grew by close to 500 percent, while almost half of Indian classical music listeners on Spotify are under the age of 25.

Musica Mexicana

The Música Mexicana (regional Mexican music) genre has seen a large surge in popularity that dominated the global charts over the summer. This is partly credited to RADAR US artist Peso Pluma whose feature on Eslabon Armado’s “Ella Baila Sola” is one of the year’s top-five most-streamed songs globally.


Nu-metal and alternative metal are both seeing a return in 2023 attributed to a “younger audience” finding the music catalogs of such bands as Deftones, Korn, and Slipknot, among others. Likewise, rising artists are “embracing the sound and paying homage to their predecessors” through releasing a wave of new nu-metal songs.


The shoegaze genre, existing since the late ’80s, is similarly experiencing a resurgence this year thanks to younger audiences. Gen Z listeners are credited for discovering bands like Wisp and the likes of Panchiko. “Over the past year, the genre has thrived within various Gen Z internet communities that have fostered pockets of interest and given birth to exciting new acts. Perhaps unknowingly, the emerging class of neo-shoegaze artists is contributing to genre diffusion, blending techniques from various music genres to create something fresh and unique.”

Themed Playlists

Themed playlists were popular year-round, as seen in curated songs for Valentine’s breakups, Succession characters, Roman Empire memes, girl dinner, and more. Girl dinner playlists, for instance, included dinner-related picks like Lana Del Rey’s “Cherry,” “Ice Spice’s “Deli,” and Taylor Swift’s “Champagne Problems.”