Apple Music is going big on music from Africa. The service’s latest move is a new artist discovery program in Africa called Africa Rising. Every two months through the program, Apple Music’s editorial team will select one artist from the continent and amplify their music to its users in 167 countries.
The Africa Rising initiative also includes an accompanying playlist featuring songs in different genres from some of the continent’s new and emerging artists. Its current playlist includes music from Nigeria’s Rema, South Africa’s Tellaman and Kenya’s Bensoul.
Nigerian Afrofusion artist Omah Lay (real name Stanley Omah Didia) is the debut artist for the program. Omah Lay said being the first artist from the continent to be highlighted by the program is a dream come true. “I have always used Apple Music, seeing my favourite artists on playlist covers and features, but here I am looking pretty as Apple Music’s first Africa Rising artist. I am overwhelmed, dreams do come true,” he said in a statement.
The Nigerian artist started making music as a teenager, and in 2019, he released two songs that earned him air time on the radio in Rivers, Southern Nigeria. Music from his debut EP, “Get Layd,” which was released in May, is currently featured on the Nigerian Top 100 singles chart on Apple Music.
This is not the first time Apple Music is investing in talent across Africa. In May, the music streaming platform launched its first radio show in Africa called the “Africa Now Radio with Cuppy.” The sho is hosted by Nigerian producer and DJ Cuppy (real name Florence Otedola), the show showcases the latest African sounds, including genres like rap, afrobeat, and kuduro music developed from Angola.