The Tik Tok trend song “Makeba” that Queen’s Brian May praised

Brian May

Social media proved during the last decades that it is a really powerful tool for new artists to promote their music. During the last few years Tik Tok was responsible for the resurgence of many old hits and of course, new ones. One of those songs was even praised by the legendary Queen co-founder and guitarist Brian May.

In a post on his Instagram in 2023, May praised the song “Makeba”, which was a single released by the French singer and songwriter Jain. Although the track was released in 2015 and had success when it was released, it really exploded globally in 2023 after going viral on Tik Tok.

The Tik Tok trend song “Makeba” by Jain, which Queen’s Brian May praised

“Why am I obsessed with this ? It’s riveting. Need to find out more about Jain – yeeeeow ! It’s raising my spirits on my journey back to the Gower in Wales. On the continuing mission to end the tragic Badger Cull, and promote the proper effective solution to the scourge of Bovine TB.”

“So now, having done some research, I know who Jain is and is by following her (Instagram) I can see what she does – great ! I also now know that this hypnotic song is about the great South African iconic singer Miriam Makeba. (She) was a leading light in educating the world as to what Apartheid really was. And so hastening its demise. OK – still obsessed!!!” Brian May said.

As the Queen guitarist said, the song references Miriam Makeba. She was also known as “Mama Africa”, who was a South African singer and anti-Apartheid civil rights activist. The track also uses a sample from the 1978 song “Me and the Gang” from Hamilton Bohannon.

At the time “Makeba” was released by Jain, the song peaked at number 7 on the French charts. But didn’t perform well in other countries. It was after the Tik Tok resurgence in 2023 that the track reached really good positions on the charts in several countries.

What Jain said about the success of “Makeba”

In an interview with Riff in 2023, Jain talked about the unexpected resurgence of the song. “I was really happy about it. Something that everybody wants, as an artist, is to have their songs go international. It was a great surprise.”

“To have ‘Makeba’ come back again, it was like, ‘Oh, so nobody’s gonna listen to the new one now.’ But actually, it’s cool, because people are getting curious. So they listen to ‘Makeba,’ and then they want to listen to what I’ve done these past few years. I think ‘Makeba’ is also nourishing the new album.”

Jain was born in Tolouse, Occitania, France in 1992. Her musicial career started in 2013 and since then she released three studio albums: “Zanaka” (2015), “Souldier” (2018) and “The Fool” (2023).

Rafael Polcaro: I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG