Musical Twin Cities: What’s Yours?

Staff Writer

The listening habits of music fans in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide have more affinity to those in a fishing city in Denmark with a population of 23,000 than to Sydney and Melbourne.

These are the results of a new BBC project looking at which cities shared the most searched-for tracks on mobile app Shazam by its 100 million worldwide users in November 2015.

The study analysed music tastes in 4,900 cities in 200 countries and found music “twin cities” for most.

Some “unusual” pairings only proved what a universal language pop music is.

Paris, for instance, shares its five most searched tracks with Algerian port city of Bejaja, 1,400 kms away. The common denominator was a love for (or curiosity about) Adele, R. City, Madcon, Synapson, L.E.J and Ridsa.

Berlin and the Mexican city of Tepic shared a love of Adele, Drake and The Weeknd.

Sydney’s music twin city was Birmingham, UK, 17,000 kms away. The shared tracks were MNEK & Zara Larsson’s Never Forget You, Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself, Diplo & Sleepy Tom’s Be Right There, WSTRN’s In2 and The Weeknd Feat. Eminem’s The Hills (Remix).

Melbourne’s twin was 17,101 kms away, in Cardiff, Wales. The most searched for tracks were Adele’s Hello, as well as tracks by MNEK & Zara Larsson, Bieber, Diplo & Sleepy Tom and WSTRN.

According to the study, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth can count Frederikshavn, Denmark as their musical soulmate. All four cities most searched for DJ Snake’sMiddle, David Guetta’s Bang My Head, Dawin’s Dessert and Shawn Mendes’ Stitchesas well as Adele’s Hello and Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself.

Hobart shared the greatest amount of searches with Brugge, Belgium while Darwin most had an affinity with Cambridge, UK.

Other pairings included So Nuuk in Greenland (the world’s northernmost capital with freezing winters) and the sunny tourist town of Surabaya, Indonesia; Manila & Monterrey, Mexico; Singapore & Tegucigalpa, Honduras; and London & sleepy Kaiapoi in New Zealand’s South Island. So are Sulaymaniyah in Iraq & Victoria, Chile although they are separated by 14,645 kms, and Auckland & Gent, Belgium with 18,300 kms between them.

Adele’s Hello was the most searched for song in the world last November, with fans in 2,578 cities checking it out. As a result, Lionel Richie’s song of the same name was also “discovered” in Iran and Angola.

Taylor Swift, Drake, Calvin Harris and Meghan Trainor were searched for in Bangladesh, China, Kazakhstan and Peru. Beyonce was big in the Sudan. Sydney-based Leo Sayer was the most popular artist in Peru, with his 1980 version of Buddy Holly & The Crickets’ More Than I Can Say the most searched there.

The most Shazam’d were English language artists. But some made a cross-over. Russian language pop singer Motte’s was in the Top 10 in nearly 100 cities—mostly in Russia, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan. French singer/actress Loaune who emerged through The Voice France was also popular in Austria, Germany and Ivory Coast.

Take it for a spin here.

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