Apple Music has announced its latest Africa Rising featured artist, Nigerian-born Afropop singer-songwriter YKB (real name Yusuf Oluwo).
KAMPALA, UGANDA | NOW THEN DIGITAL — Apple Music has unveiled Nigerian-born Yusuf Oluwo, better known as YKB, as its newest featured artist for the Africa Rising program. The initiative, which aims to showcase and elevate emerging African talent to the world, has previously highlighted the likes of Omah Lay, Tems, and Burna Boy.
“YKB grew up in Ketu, Lagos and fostered a love of music and crafting melodies from a young age,” according to Apple Music.
Fusing Afrobeats, R&B, trap and hip-hop, YKB has steadily built a dedicated fan base as an independent artist. His debut album, “Before I Blow,” was released in 2021 and features seven tracks.
YKB’s music is all about storytelling through his lens
YKB, whose stage name is an acronym for Yusuf Kan Bai (meaning “one Yusuf like that” in Yoruba), wants to communicate life through his music. “As an African boy who makes music, my goal is to communicate life through my lens,” he told Apple Music. “I hope that people can relate and learn from it, so I’m super grateful to Apple Music for making me an Africa Rising Artist.”
YKB’s latest single, “bo card (things i need)” (2023), is already available to stream on Apple Music in Spatial Audio. The song is a saxophone-flecked, smooth offering from the singer that finds him professing his love for his lady.
Apple Music’s Africa Rising program is committed to promoting African talent globally
In addition to Africa Rising, Apple Music has several initiatives aimed at promoting African talent globally.
Apple Music 1, which is now available in 33 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, is home to Africa Now Radio with host LootLove, which has featured interviews with some of the continent’s hottest artists, including Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, and Burna Boy.
Apple Music also runs its Up Next program, which highlights emerging artists from around the world.
Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Tems was the Up Next artist in 2021, while Grammy Award-winning Afrofusion superstar Burna Boy was selected in 2019, and Nigerian singer and entrepreneur Mr Eazi was the first recipient in 2017.
Apple Music’s Africa Rising program is a vital platform for promoting emerging African artists to the world. With YKB as its latest featured artist, the initiative continues to highlight the best and brightest talent from the continent.
As YKB himself puts it, “My plan is to continue to tell my stories and continue to make ‘yusful’ music.” Discover Africa Rising and YKB’s music at applemusic.com/africarising.
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