Not only do many genres of music have roots in African culture, but the continent has also become a key player in the global music scene, especially in recent years. Apple Music acknowledges the continent’s musical contributions and pledges to continuously highlight African artists with the launch of a new initiative dedicated to promoting and elevating African artists, Africa Rising. The two-part program comprises a playlist encompassing releases from African artists across genres and a musician whose sonic efforts will specifically be spotlit. Every two months, Apple Music’s editorial team will underscore the work of a new African artist.
The inaugural musician in the Africa Rising spotlight is the Nigerian-born Omah Lay. Lay is known for his Afro-fusion style, which translated to his debut album, Get Layd. The LP landed at the No. 1 spot on Apple Music Nigeria following its release in May. The singer-songwriter is also memorable for starting out as member of the rap group Lil King before embarking on his solo career.
Lay responded to Apple’s choice to feature him in the first-ever Africa Rising installment in a statement:
“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.”
Lay also addressed the subject in a recent interview with Apple Music’s Nadeska Alexis. Stream the interview here, and tune in to the Africa Rising playlist here.
Featured image: Apple Music
Make no mistake—dance music is born from black culture. Without black creators, innovators, selectors, and communities, the electronic dance music we hold so dear would simply not exist. In short, dance music is deeply indebted to the global black community and we need to be doing more. Black artists and artists of color have played a profound role in shaping the sound and culture of dance music and now more than ever, it is necessary for everyone in the music community to stand up for the people that have given us so much. Mix Session pledges to make every effort to be a better ally, a stronger resource, and a more accountable member of the global dance music community. Black Lives Matter—get involved here:
Black Lives Matter
My Block My Hood My City
National Lawyers Guild Mass Defense Program
Black Visions Collective
Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Legal Defense Initiative
The Bail Project
The Next Level Boys Academy
Color of Change
Committee to Protect Journalists