Apple Music is celebrating the beauty and diversity of the African continent this Africa Month with their Africa Is… campaign. Africa is many things to many groups of people and by honouring its musical complexities, Apple Music pays homage to its melting pot of innovation, creativity and sounds. Africa Is features music from West Africa, Francophone Africa, East Africa, Lusophone Africa, and Southern Africa, with 18 exclusive guest playlists that are all inspired by what it means to be African.
The curators for the guest playlists on Apple Music include West Africa’s Rema (Nigeria), Moliy (Ghana) Basketmouth (Nigeria) Kelvyn Boy (Ghana), Prince Gyasi (Ghana) and Andrea Iyamah (Nigeria). Representing East Africa is Chimano (Kenya) and Hussein Suleiman (Uganda), for Lusophone Africa it’s Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde) and Eliana Murargy (Mozambique), for Francophone Africa we have Ferre Gola (DRC), Serge Ibaka (DRC) and Chrystel (Ivory Coast), and lastly representing South Africa are Bongeziwe Mabandla, Uncle Waffles, Slikour, Nduduzo Makhathini and Wanda Lephoto.
In addition to this, Apple Music will have a dedicated Africa Is… section featuring flagship Editorial and Genre playlists, special Artist Essentials and Behind The Boards playlists, as well as Exclusive Home Sessions and the hottest music videos from the most popular artists.
Here is what the guest curators had to say about the inspiration behind their playlists:
“To me, Africa – like our music – is diverse, rich, colourful, and beautiful. We know how to have fun. We know how to brighten up a room while preserving the soulful essence of our sound. This playlist is not enough to represent Africa. Nothing is. But that’s the point.” – Rema (Nigerian singer and rapper)
“Africa is the future. Sounds from the continent have always been a force to be raved about, but recent years have proven that won’t be slowing down anytime soon as this new generation continues pushing boundaries.” – Moliy (Ghanian singer-songwriter)
“The world is opening up to the beauty of African music. Hence, it is important that we as Africans continue to propagate our art in every way possible, because no one else can see us the way we would ourselves. Listen to this playlist I made of my favourite African songs.” – Basketmouth (comedian, filmmaker and singer)
“AFRICA IS MUSIC, AFRICA IS AUTHENTIC. This playlist proves how authentic our sound is and how dominant our sound has become over the years.” – Kelvyn Boy (Ghanaian Afrobeat singer)
“God has blessed Africa with beautiful kids and I love her because she raised her kids well. Each kid has contributed to the creative world. Art, music and fashion are so original in everything they do. Love them. Africa is original.” – Prince Gyasi (international renowned visual artist)
“Africa is inspiring” – Andrea Iyamah (Nigerian-Canadian fashion designer)
“Africa Is… royalty. I call this the African Royals playlist. I have selected some of the top artists and songs from different generations and origin in Africa. Our musical journey starts in Angola then heads South to the beautiful Zimbabwe, and then up north to Mali the birthplace of music legends and creators of some of the most beautiful music in the world. I have included a lot of the young female musicians mostly coming from Southern Africa that bring new ideals and approach to music. We then venture to contemporary Cameroon and back to South Africa to visit icons that made musical history during and post the struggle. And ending with one of my songs – ‘Isiphelo’. Where I am as an artist is influenced by everyone in this playlist. These are the artists I love. I listen to them at home and make me so proud to be African.” – Bongeziwe Mabandla (South African musician)
“Africa is home for the resilient. With minimal resources and an underdeveloped music industry over the years, South African youth have created Kwaito, Gqom, Amapiano, Afro-pop, Bacardi, a version of hip hop through Motswako or African Trap music. Our resilience has been through our music and as we become part of the metaverse it’s also time for us to take this passion of creating into ownership. When the world takes our creation as inspiration and integrates it into their content or platforms, remember that was the cause of the resilience of some ghetto kids somewhere in South Africa. The sounds I’ve curated are an example of all these ghetto kids from the early ‘90s till 2022.” – Slikour (South African rapper and media personality)
“Africa to me is its music, stories and cultures. Africa is all the things that have survived the catastrophes imposed by the west. Africa is the spirit that refused the erasure and became immortal. Africa is the essence of being and all things (Ntu).” – Nduduzo Makhathini (South African jazz musician)
“Africa is the spirit in which the world we live is guided on.” – Wanda Lephoto (South African designer)
“Africa is authenticity. Our sweetest songs are those that come from the saddest thoughts and sung in a melancholic voice.” – Ferre Gola (Congolese recording artist)
“Africa is… diverse. One thing I love and respect the most about Africa it’s its diversity and versatility. This is what I tried to show with this playlist. Even though I’m a huge fan of Congolese music I find sounds and vibes I love in every country of Africa.” – Serge Ibaka (Congolese NBA player and artist)
“African music is where it all starts for me. These are just some of the songs I grew up hearing on the way to school, around the house, the memorable bass I heard at parties. And then some of the music I love today.” – Chrystel (Ivorian singer and songwriter)
“Africa is black. Black is room to create, to inspire, to elevate, to stamp. Africa is foundation” – Chimano (Kenyan musician)
“This playlist is reflective of the rich and varying sounds of Africa. From old gems to future sounds, I wanted to present a glimpse into how I experience music from the continent. Please find below the very many artists that influence and inspire me on a daily basis as I make my way through the rest of the world.” – Hussein Suleiman (Ugandan founder of streetwear brand Daily Paper)
“Africa is part of my ancestry, from my musical influences of Cabo Verde and being brought up in Europe (France and Switzerland) my taste for music is diverse, from the Rhythms beats and Melodies from Africa, I hope everyone treasures this playlist as much as I do from Africa to the World on this special month!” – Soraia Ramos (Cape Verdean singer)
“Africa is our heartbeat. Past, present, future… music has and always will be part of my life.” – Eliana Murargy (Mozambican fashion designer)
We’ll be catching up with musicians Nduduzo Makhathini and Chimano on our upcoming Africa Month #LAChats IG LIVE and they will speak about their latest work. Make sure to tune in on Thursday & Tuesday!