With the eyes and ears of the world currently on Africa, Apple Music is celebrating Africa Month this May with a campaign themed around Umoja and a message of unity and togetherness. The campaign also shines a spotlight on the new generation of African artists who are changing the narrative in the music industry locally and abroad.
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 & Davido, Naira Marley & Busiswa, Gyakie feat. Omah Lay as well as AKA feat. Burna Boy.
Also included are 12 exclusive guest playlists from artists including Omah Lay (Nigeria), Manu Worldstar (DR Congo/SA), Tems (Nigeria) and Amaarae (Ghana), all alumni of Apple Music’s emerging-artist spotlight program Africa Rising. Representing Lusophone Africa is Nenny (Cape Verde) and Calema (São Tomé and Príncipe), from East Africa is Zuchu (Tanzania) and Nviiri The Storyteller (Kenya), for Francophone Africa we have Suspect 95 (Ivory Coast) and Tayc (Cameroon), and lastly representing Southern Africa, we have Focalistic (South Africa) and BET award-winner Sha Sha (Zimbabwe). The playlists are made up of songs that make the artists proud to be African, or that have changed the landscape of music in Africa.
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 30th May to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the show and pay tribute to some of the best collaborations on the continent. On Apple Music 1’s The Ebro Show, each week 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 from 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 of May.
The featured artists had this to say about their playlists:
“I picked these songs because they easily represent the growth of Afrobeats over the years, showing 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,” Omah Lay tells Apple Music.
“These songs transport me to different times in my life and remind me of how music is able to take you back to a particular place and feeling.” – Tems
“What I love most about these songs is their Afrocentric nuance. 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 symbolizes what I stand for and listen to everyday 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.” – Sha Sha
“These songs make me 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! SGHUBU SES EXCELLENT FROM ME TO YOU!” – Focalistic
“The songs of yesterday that birthed who we are today. This collection of songs explores the politically charged and psychedelic grooves and lyrics of the 70s, the slick sexual innuendos and western R&B/hip hop adjacent production of mid to late 90s highlife and hip life and finally the Afrobeats explosion of the 2010s that charted a new path for African music all together. These songs are the reason I am me and you are you. We’ve lived with them all our lives through our parents, friends, and lovers. Today we celebrate the artists that made these moments possible.” – Amaarae
“We find different music genres of my Cape Verdean roots like Funana, and Morna. And other African flavours like Souk and Gqom that have been keeping me company. When I listen to this playlist I wouldn’t choose anything but to be African.” – Nenny
“Music has been the one consistent voice for us all – uniting, uplifting and entertaining across generations. It has been an unceasing vessel used to tell our untold stories.” – Nviiri The Storyteller
“These are my all time favorite songs as they inspire me to write songs that will live through generations.” – Zuchu
“This playlist is what I define as the New Africa. The vibrant Africa. The unstoppable Africa. These sounds have not just inspired me but have also built me into the artist that I am today. Enjoy.” – Manu Worldstar
“We chose these songs for our playlist especially because they represent our childhood, growing up as little boys into our journey back home in Africa. Our soul and African background is what made us who we are in terms of the creativity we have for music. Everything we sing is a reflection from the journey of our upbringing. Our Lusophone culture is so rich from the rhythms of Cape Verde, Angolan Kizomba, Semba, into Guiné Bissau, Mozambique and of course our home country São Tomé.” – Calema
“Que l’Afrolov’ se répande.” – Tayc
“La musique Africaine à aujourd’hui une place predominante dans l’industrie mondial et nous en sommes fière et ce n’est que le début.” – Suspect 95
Listen to all this great content only on Apple Music https://apple.co/AfricaMonthUmoja
For a limited time, new customers to Apple Music on iOS and Android in Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Cameroon and Zambia can enjoy all of this great content with 6 months of free Apple Music through the Shazam app. Returning customers get 3 months of free Apple Music.