“Africa” is a song recorded by the American rock band Toto and released in 1982. The song was popular upon its release, hitting number one in the American charts, and it has continued to be a soft-rock classic ever since. It was one of the most streamed songs in 2017 and has over 500 million views on YouTube.
The initial idea and lyrics for the song came from band member David Paich. He was trying out his new keyboard and found the brassy sound that became the opening riff. A riff is a short, repeated melodic pattern, often forming the background to a solo or vocal line.
In recent years, the song has grown in popularity thanks to its use in various TV shows, movies, video games, adverts, memes and YouTube covers. It has popped up in everything from Scrubs, South Park, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Family Guy and Stranger Things.
To listen to a brilliant podcast which talks through exactly how this song is put together, go to Strong Songs.
Listen to this unique arrangement of the song by the Angel City Chorale, a choir based in Los Angeles, USA.