The Two Most Popular Songs on the Planet: Jerusalema and Way Maker

The Two Most Popular Songs on the Planet: Jerusalema and Way Maker

I’d like to begin by saying both of these gospel songs, Jerusalema and Way Maker are found elsewhere on my blog, but I’d like to pay homage today to the artists who are from Africa. The world clung and continues to cling to these two songs during the ongoing COVID Pandemic, due to the spiritual aspects they represent. Nomcebo speaks in Zulu and Sinach speaks in tongues. It doesn’t matter. Even if we cannot understand the lyrics audibly, we are able to feel the words in our souls. The songs bring us hope, healing and solace. something we so sorely continue to need right now.

My understanding of all of this, is when the world is in turmoil it looks to Africa for spiritual guidance. I believe this is because the people of Africa for the most part have been unencumbered by the physical accoutrements of life, resulting in more time for spiritual development. In addition, centuries of strife and oppression have led them to develop a closer relationship and more dependence on our creator.

I’ll begin with the song Jerusalema that is sung in the language of Zulu, a South African language. The vocalist, Nomcebo wrote the lyrics and recorded the vocals all in one night. It saddens me to hear Nomcebo say she has never received any payment for her performance from her recording company, despite the phenomenal, worldwide success of the song. The song’s producer is Master KG, he is a South African musician and record producer.

The story behind Master KG’s ‘Jerusalema,’ one of the most Shazamed songs in the world

By Michelle Cohan, CNN

Updated 11:19 AM ET, Fri October 16, 2020

african voices south africa master kg jerusalema spc intl_00004801

(CNN)One night in 2019, DJ Kgaogelo Moagi, better known as Master KG, called up singer Nomcebo to come to his Johannesburg studio to record a song.”‘But it’s very late,'” Nomcebo recalled telling him. “‘You want me to come now?'”When she got there, the beat Master KG played gave her goosebumps; she loved it. It would later come together as the global hit, “Jerusalema.”

But Nomcebo didn’t think she could come up with lyrics right away and asked if she could work on it at home. Master KG gave her the confidence she needed to do it that night, but she still shooed him out of the recording room so she could have some space to think.

After a few more listens, Nomcebo had an epiphany.


“Something came out from my mouth. And I was like ‘Master KG, come back, come back. Where’s the earphones?’ And then we recorded around midnight,” she said.

Afrobeats music gets a 'long overdue' UK singles chart

Afrobeats music gets a ‘long overdue’ UK singles chartThough the lyrics are sung in Zulu, “Jerusalema” quickly rose to global fame. At the time of publication, the track is the second-most Shazamed song in the world — behind only BTS’s “Dynamite” — and the music video has over 185 million views on YouTube and counting.

The song has already landed Master KG five African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) nominations and countless celebrity shout-outs — in part thanks to the global dance challenge inspired by the song.

You can read more about the song, Jerusalema on Wikipedia:

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