Johannesburg - Exclusive guest playlists and cross-continental collaborations are the order of the month as Apple Music celebrates all things African.
The streaming platform is shining a spotlight on the new generation of African artists who are changing the narrative in the music industry, both locally and abroad.
The campaign is themed around Umoja and a message of unity and togetherness.
The campaign features an exclusive Africa Month Umoja playlist which includes some of the best cross-continental collaborations in recent memory, with music from Focalistic and Davido, Naira Marley and Busiswa, Gyakie featuring Omah Lay as well as AKA featuring Burna Boy.
Africa Month will also be supported across Apple Music Radio. Africa Now Radio with Cuppy will be hosting a special Africa Month ‘Umoja’ special on Sunday, May 30, to celebrate the first anniversary of the show and pay tribute to some of the best collaborations on the continent.
Each week on The Ebro Show, Ebro will interview a guest artist from a different region to talk about their exclusive Africa Month playlist, as well as featuring a weekly Motivation Mix from prominent DJs across the continent playing the best in Amapiano, Afrobeats and more.
Nadeska will also be featuring her Africa Rising artist of the week slot on The Nadeska Show each week during the month.
Celebrated singer Sha Sha, who embodies African collaborations, said she loved the Afrocentric nuance of the songs she has picked exclusively for the guest playlist.
“There’s a rhythm and energy about Africa that’s probably best expressed through our music. I’d like everyone else to tap into these sounds that reflect our strength and beauty as Africans.
“Africa Month symbolises what I stand for and listen to every day while relaxing, vibing or hanging out. I definitely love sharing my playlist with everyone, and Africa Month is the best time to do so because African music speaks to me. I hope this speaks to you too,” she said.
Nigerian singer Omah Lay picked his selection because they easily represent the growth of Afrobeats over the years.
“They show how diverse the genre’s sound is. I curated this playlist to display that diversity in sound and each song has its own impact story on Afrobeats.”
Tems, another Nigerian singer, said the songs on her playlist transported her to different times in her life and reminded her of how music was able to take people back to a particular place and feeling.
South African trending star Focalistic said his playlist made him proud to be African.
“The pure and exciting creative genius from these African artists makes me proud and sure that Africa to the world is an important mission. I can’t wait for the African Sghubu to take over the world and for the culture to influence many more generations,” he said.
Ghanaian singer Amaarae said it was the songs of yesteryear that birthed who we are today.
“This collection of songs explores the politically charged and psychedelic grooves and lyrics of the 1970s, the slick sexual innuendos and western R&B/hip hop adjacent production of mid to late 1990s high life and hip life and finally the Afrobeats explosion of the 2010s that charted a new path for African music altogether.”
She said it was these songs that made people who they are today.
“We’ve lived with them all our lives through our parents, friends and lovers. Today we celebrate the artists that made these moments possible,” she said.
These artists form part of the group of 12 artists who have made exclusive guest playlists. Other artists include Manu Worldstar (DR Congo/SA), Nenny (Cape Verde), Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe), Zuchu (Tanzania) and Nviiri The Storyteller (Kenya), among others.