Apple Music today announced Africa Rising, a new bi-monthly artist pro­gram and com­pan­ion playl­ist geared towards identi­fy­ing, show­cas­ing and elev­at­ing rising Afric­an tal­ent.  Nigeri­an-born, Afro-fusion sing­er and song­writer Omah Lay will be the debut artist for the new pro­gram.
“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”
Every two months, Africa Rising will fea­ture an artist selec­ted by Apple Music’s edit­or­i­al team on the con­tin­ent and use the full force of the plat­form to amp­li­fy them to music fans in Africa and around the world. The pro­gram also includes a com­pan­ion playl­ist fea­tur­ing the Africa Rising cov­er star plus the continent’s hot­test new and emer­ging artists across all genres.
“I’m so excited that my fel­low Nigeri­an Omah Lay is Apple Music’s first Africa Rising artist,” said Cuppy, host of Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio. “This new pro­gram and its playl­ist will elev­ate the next gen­er­a­tion of Afric­an super­stars and bring them to the world.”
Omah’s music­al jour­ney star­ted dur­ing his teen­age years as a mem­ber of the rap group, Lil King. A few years later he swapped per­form­ing for pro­du­cing, quickly becom­ing Port Harcourt’s go-to guy for a hit single, but he picked up the mic again when he real­ised he could use his new­found skills to advance his own career.
In 2019 he released two singles “Do Not Dis­turb” and “Hello Broth­er”, both of which ended up on heavy rota­tion on Port Harcourt’s com­mer­cial sta­tions, secur­ing him a grow­ing fan­base with each new mile­stone.
With a music­al arsen­al that draws from Afrobeats, R&B and pop, Omah’s debut EP Get Layd, which he released under indie record label KeyQaad, has been the #1 album on Apple Music Niger­ia since its release in May 2020, with all 5 songs from the EP fea­tur­ing on the Nigeri­an Top 10 singles chart.
About the suc­cess of his first pro­ject as a solo artist, Omah Lay says in an inter­view with Nadeska Alex­is air­ing this Fri­day on Apple Music: “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 made music, I put it out, and every­body’s lov­ing it.”
Listen to Omah Lay’s latest Apple Music inter­view with Nadeska Alex­is at
The latest music from Omah Lay, along with that of his Africa Rising peers, is avail­able now on the Apple Music Africa Rising Playl­ist HERE.
Africa Rising is Apple Music’s latest of many ini­ti­at­ives aim­ing to pro­mote Afric­an tal­ent. Now avail­able in 33 coun­tries in Sub-Saha­ran Africa, the plat­form recently launched its new show Africa Now Radio with Cuppy and a series of ‘At Home With’ playl­ists exclus­ively cur­ated by top Afric­an artists includ­ing Simi, Fire­boy DML, Sun El-Musi­cian, Mas­ter KG and more. Last month Shazam launched the Mzansi Risers playl­ist in South Africa.
Apple Music also selec­ted Nigeri­an Afro­pop star Rema as its latest Up Next artist, fol­low­ing the addi­tion of Burna Boy to the roster last year and Mr Eazi back in 2017. Up Next is Apple Music’s glob­al emer­ging artist pro­gram.
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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.