Nigeria – Apple Music has announced Nigerian singer and rapper Rema as its latest Up Next artist.
Up Next is Apple Music’s monthly artist programme geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent.
Rema has earned a huge following with his youth-led sound, which has spread across Africa and around the world. Since the launch of his 2019 eponymous debut EP, he has become the eighteenth most-played World Artist on Apple Music based on lifetime plays.
“Getting recognised by Apple as their Up Next artist is a huge deal for me,” Rema said. “I want to take Afrobeats to the world and now the world is listening, it’s an honour. This has come during a time when across the world people are uniting and coming together to fight for justice. This generation, my generation, are standing up and speaking out and it’s amazing to see, I am standing right beside them.”
Rema’s Up Next short was shot remotely in Lagos. In it, he talks about his introduction to music through church groups, and he shares how faith helped him overcome tragedy.
“The goal is to take Africa to the world, if the world can’t come to Africa. That’s the plan,” he says.
Apple Music global editorial head of hip hop and R&B, Ebro Darden, said: “Rema embodies the youth movement emerging from the continent of Africa. His voice has carried him from Benin City, Nigeria, to Barack Obama’s 2019 Summer Playlist.
“He’s been consigned by Drake and Rihanna and has remixes to his music with Becky G, Matoma and Major Lazer. Rema is a shy, young artist who has managed to capture the world’s attention with his art. We are excited to amplify him further and can’t wait to see what he’ll do with his platform next.”
In an interview with Darden, Rema discusses the origins of his genre-bending sound, the cultural significance of Lagos, and receiving the presidential seal of approval from Obama.
To date, Rema’s music has been featured across Apple Music playlists like Afrobeats Hits, Today’s Hits, Future Hits, Agenda, Shazam Discovery Top 50, Home Office DJ, Breaking R&B, The New Africa, and It’s Lit!
Across Apple Music’s Beats 1 global livestream, Rema has been featured on such programmes as Joe Kay’s Soulection and Kendall Jenner’s Zaza World Radio.