Apple Music Taps Bazzi as Latest 'Up Next' Artist, Previews Acoustic 'Mine' Clip
Fast-rising R&B and pop singer Bazzi has officially joined Apple Music's "Up Next" class of emerging talent, Billboard can reveal. Though he's since caught fire across other digital services, Bazzi was first championed by Apple Music, which gave premium placements to his breakout single, "Mine," beginning last fall.
"It’s really exciting," the 20-year-old Michigan naive said in a new Beats 1 interview. "Things have been moving really fast. After a year of work and putting everything in order we’re here and it feels really good."
Apple’s "Up Next" feature has become increasingly valuable real estate for acts and labels as Apple Music amasses subscribers; the service now counts more than 40 million paying customers, up from 30 million in September. Through the program, Apple Music selects an up-and-comer each month to showcase and throw its considerable resources at. Recent recipients include Stefflon Don, Sigrid, Khalid and Mr. Eazi.
To kick off his tenure as an "Up Next" artist, Apple Music has debuted the singer's highly anticipated album COSMIC, and on May 4 will release a special short film featuring Bazzi as well as a new acoustic version of "Mine," which recently hit No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Later this spring, Bazzi will join Camilla Cabello as a special guest on the singer’s Never Be The Same Tour.
"When I first listened to 'Mine,' it stood out from everything that was out -- it sounded so honest and original and coming straight from his heart," Cabello said. "I listened to all of his songs after that and was hooked! I think he has such an original style and it sounds so effortless for him. I think he’s a breath of fresh air in pop music and it’s been so amazing to introduce him to my fans on tour."
According to Apple Music's pop curator Arjan Timmermans, who began promoting Bazzi's songs after spotting him on Instagram, the singer's "fine sense of melody and honest storytelling capture a singular, genre-defying vision that is truly one of a kind. He is without a doubt one of the biggest and most important new pop artists to emerge in 2018."