Apple Music today announced the latest featured artist in its Africa Rising artist development program as 24-year-old Nigerian-born Afro-fusion singer-songwriter, Buju (real name Daniel Benson).
“I’m happy and proud to be the next Apple Music Africa Rising artist’, said Buju. “I appreciate the genuine love and support my fans and the Apple Music team have shown me and I promise to never stop.”
An acronym for “Beauty Underneath Just Understood”, Buju’s calling to be a performer manifested itself while he was unhappily studying IT at university. After fully realising his vision of being a singer, songwriter and record producer, he released his first single “Catch A Vibe” (2018) to hungry ears.
It was his viral hit “Spiritual” featuring Zlatan (2019) that skyrocketed him into the charts, earning him a nomination in the “Rookie of the Year” category at Nigeria’s HipTV Headies Awards the same year, and then a win at the City People Music Awards for “Revelation of the Year” (2020).
Perhaps his biggest career milestone came in 2020 when he released a remix of his hit single “L’Enu” featuring his idol Burna Boy. He has frequently referred to the experience of getting to meet and work with the Grammy Award winner as one of the highlights of his life.
Buju’s debut album Sorry I’m Late, available to stream on Apple Music now, is a seven-track tour de force of modern Afrobeats hooks and traditional Afro-rooted melodies, and does an expert job in introducing the essence of his craft to a global audience.
The latest music from Buju along with that of Africa’s hottest new artists, is available now on the Apple Music Africa Rising Playlist.
Apple Music’s Africa Rising, is an exclusive artist development programme and companion playlist geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent and introducing the next generation of African superstars. Africa Rising alumni to date include: Omah Lay, Manu Worldstar, Tems, Amaarae, Ayra Starr, Yaw Tog, Blxckie and Nikita Kering. Africa Rising sees Apple Music select six artists every year who each receive a minimum of two months of editorial support across the Apple Music platform including a launch interview with Nadeska on Apple Music 1. Nadeska has also launched a new weekly Africa Rising feature on her show highlighting the hottest new artists on the continent.
Africa Rising is the latest of many Apple Music initiatives aimed at taking African talent to the world. Now available in 33 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Apple Music 1 is home to Africa Now Radio with host LootLove which has featured interviews with some of the continent’s hottest artists such as Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Cassper Nyovest, Mr Eazi, Patoranking, Rayvanny, Kiddominant, Mayorkun, Fireboy DML, Adekunle Gold, Master KG, Yaw Tog, Blxckie and Nikita Kering.
Last month, Apple Music announced artist/producer Tems as the latest addition to its Global Up Next program. Apple Music also selected Nigerian Afropop star Rema as its Up Next artist in 2020, following the addition of Burna Boy to the roster in 2019 and Mr Eazi back in 2017. Up Next is Apple Music’s global emerging artist program.