Contemporary R&B Whizz-Kid Manana Is Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight

Apple Music’s latest New Artist Spotlight is Manana (real name Ndumiso Manana), a multifaceted musical talent whose new age R&B exudes emotional maturity and honesty way beyond his years. 

“I’m both excited and humbled by this opportunity. To be chosen for The Apple Music New Artist Spotlight campaign is a huge honour and I can’t thank Apple enough. I’ve been inspired by artists who have featured in this campaign and to become a part of this family is inspiring,” said Manana.

Growing up in Mbabane in Eswatini, Manana developed an affinity for all things music related which resulted in his ability to compose, produce and perform. 

Establishing himself as a powerful lyricist, penning African anthems for lauded artists Ami Faku (“eBhayi”), Amanda Black (“Africa”) and Sauti Sol (“Feel My Love” and “Fire”), Manana also shines as a member of the multinational Neo-soul group, Seba Kaapstad, alongside songbird Zoë Modiga, with three albums released to date. 

After dropping a series of singles between 2017 and 2019, 2020 saw the release of Manana’s debut EP In the beginning was the end, a nostalgic ode to R&B told in reverse, with acute attention to lyrical and emotional detail.

Using his own marriage as his compass, Manana’s 7-track EP captures the light and shade of growing and fading relationships, touching on modern masculinity and shame culture, with “Sunday Morning” featuring Rowlene which featured on Apple Music’s Top 100 tracks of 2020.

Whether it’s behind a piano or mic, Manana’s ability to effortlessly integrate his jazz training and choral background with elements of contemporary R&B and soul is what places him ahead of the pack. 

Listen to In the beginning was the end on Apple Music

About Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight

Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight is a monthly artist development feature focussed on identifying, showcasing and elevating rising star talent across Africa. Each month, Apple Music’s editorial team selects an artist to promote, utilizing the full extent of the platform to raise awareness of the artist. The program has been running for the past four years and the support given to artists includes main page and genre page featuring, inclusion on the global African Editor page, Beats 1 support, inclusion in top playlists including Mzansi Hits, A-List South Africa, Mzansi House, Future Hits, Mzansi Hip-Hop, New Music Daily, Rising, the brand new playlist Africa Now and more!

Past New Artist Spotlight talent includes award winning and critically acclaimed artists such as Sho Madjozi, Amanda Black, Shekhinah, Shane Eagle, Sun El Musician, The Big Hash, Simmy, Ami Faku and Elaine.

About Apple Music

Apple loves music. With iPod and iTunes, Apple revolutionized the music experience by putting a thousand songs in your pocket. Today, Apple Music takes this to the ultimate with over 70 million songs, thousands of playlists, and daily selections from the world’s best music experts, including all of the artists and hosts broadcasting daily across its Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country global live streams. Since 2015, Apple Music has welcomed tens of millions of subscribers in 167 countries. Streaming seamlessly to iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple Watch, Apple TV, Mac, CarPlay and on Android devices, Apple Music is the most complete music experience on the planet. Apple Music offers a free 3-month trial with no commitment and is ad-free.

1 comment

    […] the release of his In the Beginning was the End EP. The project has reportedly been met with critical praise. The 26-year-old artist, whose full name is Ndumiso Manana, shared the news of Apple Music’s […]

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