Apple Music Launches 'Africa Now' Playlist Featuring Latest in African Hip-Hop, Gqom, Afrobeats & More

Burna Boy
Zoe McConnell

Burna Boy photographed on July 11, 2019  at Kontiki Studios in London. 

On Tuesday (Dec. 24), Apple Music announced the official launch of its new Africa Now playlist featuring music from the continent’s hottest contemporary artists. The inaugural playlist features cover star Burna Boy’s new single “Money Play” in the No. 1 spot. Listen to it here

“Apple Music is a huge support system for ensuring African music reaches as many ears as possible all over the globe!” said Burna Boy in a statement. “As a 2019 Apple Music Up Next artist the impact of that honour is still bring felt today! So more grease to them! They’re family now, always love.”

The playlist will be updated every week and feature the latest in African hip-hop, Gqom, Afrobeats, amapiano, Afro-bongo, Alte, Kuduro and more.

Apple Music isn’t the first streaming service to center a playlist on contemporary African music. Last October, Spotify introduced a new Afro hub featuring playlists such playlists as African Heat (533,000 followers), Afro Hits (298,000 followers) and We Everywhere (364,000 followers).

These moves in the streaming space coincide with increasing investments in the African market by Western labels. Last month, Sony Music became the final major label in the U.S. to strike a licensing deal with streaming service Boomplay Music, which claims to reach 60 million users in Africa. Other recent investments include Warner Music’s partnership with Nigerian label Chocolate City this past March and Universal’s purchase of a majority stake in the Kenyan music label AI Records last year.

Courtesy Photo