By Adedapo Adesanya
Apple Music has launched a new bi-monthly artist programme and companion playlist called Africa Rising, geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising African talent.
Africa Rising is Apple Music’s latest of various initiatives aimed at promoting African talent.
To kick-off the innovation, Nigerian Afro-fusion singer and songwriter, Omah Lay, will be the debut artiste for the new programme.
According to the service, every two months, Africa Rising will feature a music act selected by Apple Music’s editorial team on the continent who will be promoted to music fans not only in Africa but globally.
The programme will be complemented by a companion playlist featuring the Africa Rising cover star, plus new and emerging artists across all genres from the continent.
Now available in 33 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the platform recently launched its new show, Africa Now Radio with DJ Cuppy and a series of At Home With playlists exclusively curated by African artistes including Simi, Fireboy DML, Sun El-Musician, Master KG and more.
Last month, another of Apple’s subsidiaries, Shazam, launched the Mzansi Risers playlist in South Africa. It includes emerging SA artists who are trending across the Shazam Charts, offering a select mix of sounds that reflect what music enthusiasts have been actively discovering on Shazam.
Music genres on the list range from amapiano and hip hop through to Afro-house, electro and pop.
Apple Music has also selected Nigerian Afropop star, Rema, as the latest act for its global emerging artist program, Up Next, following the addition of Burna Boy to the roster last year and Mr Eazi back in 2017.
Looking at Omah Lay’s musical journey, he started during his teenage years as a member of the rap group, Lil King.
A few years later, he swapped performing for producing. In 2019, he released two singles Do Not Disturb and Hello Brother, both of which ended up on heavy rotation in the airwaves in Port Harcourt.
His debut mixtape, Get Lay, was released under indie record label KeyQaad and peaked at the number 1 album on Apple Music Nigeria since its release in May 2020, with all 5 songs from the EP featuring on the Nigerian top 10 singles chart.
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