Apple announced its expansion to twelve African countries in April, as they recently introduced a new program called Africa Rising that is meant to aid the identification and showcasing of the rising music talents in Africa
Every two months a team of apple Music editors would choose a companion playlist featuring an African Artist and they would utilise the platform’s complete potential in the elevation of the artist careers all over Africa and around the world
Following increased exposure of African music on the global stage through streaming platforms, several top labels, music publishers and streaming services are being forced into reaching out more for African music
The first artist to be highlighted is Nigeria’s very own Afro-fusion-Singer-Songwriter Omah Lay, the artist Get Layd EP has been the number one album on Apple Music since it was released in May,
this speaks on the artistry of Omah Lay who has been able to retain the number one spot since May without the program, now we can only imagine what the program would achieve towards the elevation of Omah Lay’s career that has been on the rise since he broke out.
“I have always used Apple Music, seeing my favorite artists on playlist covers and features but here I am looking pretty as Apple Music ’s first Africa Rising artist. I am overwhelmed dreams really do come true,” he said in a statement.
Born into a family with strong musical ties in Port Harcourt , Omah Lay’s grandfather was a percussionist for highlife legend Celestine Ukwu’s Band who is know for his hits like Ice Enu, Igede and money Palava in the 60 to the late 70s
He began his career as a teenage member of the rap group lil King , but later became a producer before deciding to launch a solo career. In 2019 his singles “Do not disturb” and “Hello brother” were in heavy rotation across radio stations in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
His father himself is a drummer but without attaining the heights of his father’s music career, equipped with this sort of foundation Omah lay has created a niche for himself with the walls of Afro-beats , called Afro-fusion basically a mix of Highlife and Afrobeat
DJ Cuppy who is the current host of the Apple’s Music recently -launched Africa Now Radio commented on Lay’s recent achievement saying “I’m so excited that my fellow Nigerian is Apple’s Music first Africa Rising Artist”
“This New Program and its playlist will elevate the next generation of African superstars and bring them to the world”.
In an interview with Nadeska Alexis of Apple Music Lay also mentioned his amazement at the speed his career took off saying ‘ I wasn’t expecting all of this’ “ I didn’t expect it to happen this fast and so soon, you know what I mean? But I’m grateful I just mad music I put it out and people are loving it”.
On becoming the first artist from the continent to be highlighted by the program the “bad influence” crooner called it a dream come true