Apple Music today announced Nigerian Afropop star Rema as the latest addition to its Up Next program, Apple Music‘s monthly artist initiative geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent.
The global singer and rapper is at the forefront of Nigerian pop music, with a youth-led sound connecting across all corners of Africa and beyond. Since the debut of his Rema – EP in March 2019, Rema has become the #18 World Artist across Apple Music based on lifetime plays.
To date, his 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, It’s Lit!, and many more. Across Apple Music’s Beats 1 global livestream, Rema has been featured on major programs, including Joe Kay’s Soulection and Kendall Jenner‘s ZAZA WORLD RADIO, and has been Shazamed in over 180 countries.
“Getting recognised by Apple as their Up Next artist is a huge deal for me,” said Rema. “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 embodies the youth movement emerging from the continent of Africa,” said Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&BEbro Darden. “His voice has carried him from Benin City, Nigeria to Barack Obama’s 2019 Summer Playlist. He’s been cosigned 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.”
Rema’s Up Next short was shot remotely in Lagos by the artist himself on iPhone 11 Pro and comes to Apple Music exclusively today. In the short, Rema opens up, talking about his earliest introductions to music through church groups and sharing how faith helped him overcome tragedy. “The goal is to take Africa to the world, if the world can’t come to Africa,” Rema tells Apple Music. “That’s the plan.”
In an interview with Apple Music’s Darden, also available today, Rema discusses the origins of his genre-bending sound, the cultural significance of Lagos, and receiving the presidential seal of approval from Obama.