Apple Music announce AWEN as the latest Isgubhu cover star

Apple Music has announced French-Senegalese dance music singer-songwriter and producer, AWEN (real name Lucille Kante) as its latest Isgubhu cover star. Her debut album Redemption (2021), moves between soulful Afro House and deep spiritual trip hop and features Umlazi-born, self-taught Afro House producer and DJ, Enoo Napa on the title-track “Redemption”. As a frequent collaborator with various Afro House artists from all over Africa, AWEN’s incorporation of multiple genres and sonic elements into her music is testament to her constant growth and ongoing journey. 

AWEN has also created an exclusive Isgubhu playlist that features tracks that fuel her musical fire and that showcase Africa’s rich dance music talent through the years. 

“I had great fun curating the Isgubhu playlist for Apple Music. I included some timeless classics, such as Tony Allen’s ‘African Man’ just because those tunes paved the way for African dance music as we know it today. I also included some new gems from artists I love and admire such as Black Coffee, Sun El-Musician, Msaki and Black Motion; you will also find a few tunes from my album Redemption. What do all these tracks have in common? They all take from various influences to create a unique form of soulfulness that makes us feel more alive,” she tells Apple Music.

Taking over Isgubhu By… for this month is eSwatini-hailing electronic producer and deep house DJ, !Sooks (real name Sukoluhle Dlamini). Having been enthralled by African music and synth sound creation, !Sooks’ first milestone came when he released his debut EP, 7 Years of Colour (2016) under Antidote Music, quickly following this up with his second release, A Different Place (2016) under international label Deepstitched Records. Since then he’s blazed a unique trail while honing his ambient, moody groove.

“Growing up, my dad exposed me to a lot of amazing music, especially jazz, which inspired my love for music as a whole. This particular selection showcases my love for a variety of sounds within African dance music and it is this plethora of sounds that inspires my music production today. My selection for Apple Music features music from South Africa, Namibia and Eswatini, which to me shows the growth of African dance and electronic music. We have come of age and the sound has moved from the underground scene and has stepped into the mainstream through the advancement of Amapiano, Afro House and other emerging African dance music subgenres,” he explains.

Launched in early 2021, Isgubhu is the definitive home of African Dance and Electronic music on Apple Music and spotlights and elevates the work of African Electronic DJs, producers and creatives. Isgubhu, a Zulu word meaning beat and used to refer to a banging song, pays homage to an evergreen set of genres and the African artists who have played a pivotal role in shaping the Dance and Electronic scene across the world.

Isgubhu also houses a collection of playlists including Spotlight On – a focus on boutique labels like Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds, Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes, Kenya’s Gondwana KE, and eSwatini’s Antidote Music, as well as Isgubhu Voices – a focus on the best Dance and Electronic tracks that feature vocals.

Listen to Isgubhu only on Apple Music http://apple.co/Isgubhu 

Filah Lah Lah announced as Apple Music Up Next artist in South Africa

Apple Music has announced South African R&B singer and songwriter Filah Lah Lah (real name Reabetswe Fila Ranamane) as the latest artist in its South Africa Up Next program, a local version of their global emerging artist platform which they launched early in 2021.

“Being selected as Apple Music’s Up Next South Africa artist for November is truly an honor and a dream come true. It’s so important for someone like me, with their own look and their own style, to be given a voice and spotlight, because it inspires others to do the same,” she tells Apple Music. 

It was Filah Lah Lah’s father who made sure that she was exposed to the excellence of black musicians from an early age, introducing her to everything from jazz to funk to soul.

Inspired by jazz greats like Nina Simone, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, masters of R&B like Marvin Gaye, Betty Wright and Smokey Robinson, and the energy of ‘90s hip hop, Filah Lah Lah poured her unique artistry into her debut EP Filahsofy (2020).

Her second EP Were Gonna Be Just Fine (2021), available to stream on Apple Music, shows her immense growth both through restrained vocals and sensual soundscapes, taking on a more ambient and harmonic tone.

As the newest Up Next artist to be spotlighted in South Africa, Filah Lah Lah will be featured across Apple Music’s South African Up Next playlist. The curated playlist features a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world. The playlist is genre agnostic and represents a line-up of artists their global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience. 

The vast global Up Next roster of past talent includes Grammy-nominated and critically lauded talent like 6lack, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish, Sabrina Claudio, Sigrid, Mr Eazi, Stefflon Don, Bad Bunny, Juice WLRD, Bazzi, Jax Jones, NCT 127, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack, Dean Lewis, Pink Sweat$, Koffee, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Clairo, Lunay, Jessie Reyez, Orville Peck, Victoria Monét, Ingrid Andress, Conan Gray, Don Toliver, Rema, BENEE, Holly Humberstone, Natanael Cano, Givēon, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Tate McRae, Fousheé and Tems.

About Apple Music

Apple loves music. Apple revolutionized the music experience with iPod and iTunes. Today, Apple Music celebrates musicians, songwriters, producers, and fans with a catalog of over 90 million songs, expertly curated playlists, and the best artist interviews, conversations, and global premieres with the award-winning Apple Music Radio. With original content from the most respected and beloved people in music, autoplay, time-sync lyrics, Lossless Audio, and immersive sound powered by Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, Apple Music offers the world’s best listening experience, helping listeners discover new music and enjoy their favorites while empowering the global artist community. Apple Music is available in over 165 countries and regions on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod mini, CarPlay, and online at music.apple.com, plus popular smart speakers, smart TVs, and Android and Windows devices. Apple Music is ad-free and never shares consumer data with third parties. More information is available at apple.com/apple-music.

HERSH announced as Apple Music Up Next artist in South Africa

Capetonian singer-songwriter and producer HERSH (real name Herschel Snyders) is the latest Apple Music Up Next South Africa artist. The South Africa program, which launched earlier this year is a local version of Apple Music’s global emerging artist platform geared towards identifying and showcasing rising talent.

With a versatile sound that fuses elements of Hip-Hop and R&B, the 24-year-old singer had this to say about being selected for the program:

“I am proud and honoured to be selected as the Apple Music’s Up Next South African artist,” he tells Apple Music. “It makes me happy knowing that I am doing what I love and that my music has a relatable experience or has made someone feel good. I’m all about chasing my dream and in my music I encourage people to do the same and these things help make your dream come true!’

After a High School talent show uncovered HERSH’s immense talent at the age of 15, he decided to pursue a career in professional football instead. However when his dreams as a footballer weren’t realised, HERSH turned to music – first as his therapy, and then as his ambition and passion.

HERSH made his mark on SA’s music scene in mid-2020 after taking part in the Red Bull Made in 72 Hours project, which saw him collaborate with Gina Jeanz and Juzzy CPT, in isolation, to create the standout R&B track “Tonight”.

With an acute attention to detail present in every aspect of his craft, HERSH’s signature style is a blend of old and new school Hip-Hop beats. He quickly caught the attention of Sony Music Entertainment Africa who immediately signed him. 

HERSH’s debut EP “Peace Of Mind”, draws musical inspiration from future soul singer Masego, and rappers Ty Dolla Sign and Drake, however the majority of his influence is born from his lived experiences. The EP’s lead single, “Enough”, is a standout with synthesized harmonies and subtle electronics that form a solid foundation for his R&B-rooted vocals.

As the latest Up Next artist to be spotlighted in South Africa, HERSH will be featured across Apple Music’s South African Up Next playlist https://apple.co/3eITdJd. The curated playlist features a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music’s editors from around the world. The playlist is genre agnostic and represents a line-up of artists Apple Music’s global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience. 

The vast global Up Next roster of past talent includes Grammy-nominated and critically lauded talent like 6lack, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish, Sabrina Claudio, Sigrid, Mr Eazi, Stefflon Don, Bad Bunny, Juice WLRD, Bazzi, Jax Jones, NCT 127, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack, Dean Lewis, Pink Sweat$, Koffee, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Clairo, Lunay, Jessie Reyez, Orville Peck, Victoria Monét, Ingrid Andress, Conan Gray, Don Toliver, Rema, BENEE, Holly Humberstone, Natanael Cano, Givēon, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks,Tate McRae and Foushée.

About Apple Music

Apple loves music. With iPod and iTunes, Apple revolutionized the music experience by putting a thousand songs in your pocket. Today, Apple Music takes this to the ultimate with over 70 million songs, thousands of playlists, and daily selections from the world’s  best music experts, including all of the artists and hosts broadcasting daily across its Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country global live streams. Since 2015, Apple Music has welcomed tens of millions of subscribers in 167 countries. Streaming seamlessly to iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, Apple Watch, iPod touch, CarPlay, popular smart TVs, smart speakers, Android and Windows devices, and online at music.apple.com, Apple Music is the most complete music experience on the planet. Apple Music offers a free 3-month trial with no commitment and is ad-free.

LootLove joins as new host of Africa Now Radio on Apple Music 1

South African TV presenter and radio personality Luthando Shosha — aka LootLove — is taking over as the new host of Africa Now Radio on Apple Music 1, beginning Sunday, 13 June 2021.

Africa Now Radio, Apple Music radio’s first global African music radio show, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Over the past year, the show has featured exclusive interviews with Davido, Nasty C, Tiwa Savage, Rayvanny and many of the biggest and brightest artists spanning the African continent, debuted over 250 new releases, and introduced Apple Music subscribers around the world to over 50 of Africa’s hottest new artists, from Omah Lay to Tems. Based on the Africa Now playlist, Africa Now Radio with LootLove will continue to showcase the latest African sounds, be it amapiano, afrobeats, highlife, alte, house, hip-hop, bongo flava, or kuduro.

“I am beyond elated to host Africa Now Radio,” said LootLove. “This is a big moment for the universal language that is music. A moment that continues to shine a light on our continent, my home country  — South Africa — and on all the magical talent we have. I am looking forward to seeing more, experiencing more and learning more through the beauty of Africa’s music. From the Cape to Cairo and to the rest of the world.”

On her debut episode, LootLove will be joined by the legendary Angélique Kidjo, who will talk about her upcoming album “Mother Nature,” out on June 18, 2021. LootLove will also spotlight The Big 5 – the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment – and the next generation of African superstars featured in Apple Music’s artist program and companion playlist Africa Rising. In the new Loot Loves feature, LootLove will select and play one track she loves from her favorite Apple Music African playlists.

Africa Now Radio with LootLove airs weekly on Sundays, beginning 13 June 2021, at 2pm Lagos / London / 3pm Johannesburg / Paris / 6am LA / 9am NYC on Apple Music 1. Listen via apple.co/_AfricaNow

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