Apple Music announces Maya Amolo as the Latest Up Next Artist from East Africa

Apple Music today announced Kenyan R&B-soul singer-songwriter Maya Amolo is the latest artist to be featured in its new Up Next artist development program in East Africa.

“I’m really excited to be Up Next with Apple Music,” she tells Apple Music. “The scene is buzzing here in Nairobi so I’m always grateful when I have platforms that can amplify all the incredible work we’ve been doing here. A lot of my favourite artists were Up Next so being grouped in with them is another win for me. Grateful to see bigger platforms giving space to our voices.”

This Nairobi-born songstress grew up supported by a family that was incredibly musical, so singing was something that came naturally to her. Around the time that she started high school it was trendy for kids to aspire to be a “Soundcloud rapper”, so when other people started to record in their bedroom over free YouTube beats, Maya began to do the same.

Her debut album Leave Me At The Pregame (2020) is a quintessential exploration of love’s complex spectrum through the lens of alternative R&B, fused with Afropop and Afro-R&B, and traverses a melodic road of self-acceptance and healing. With the release of her second album Asali (2022) meaning “Honey” in her native Kiswahili, Maya showed that her sound had evolved as she had entered a new era of her artistry that embraced the lighter side of life and love.

The release of Asali (Sweeter), the deluxe version of the album that’s available to stream on Apple Music, included nine new tracks that deal with the slightly stickier phases of love that amplify the honey-textured tone of her voice, showcasing her multifaceted nature as an artist.

Apple Music’s Up Next artist development program has had a fruitful history of spotlighting the next wave of creative talent since it was established in August 2017, with Nigerian Grammy Award winning superstars, Burna Boy and Tems, the first two African artists to be spotlighted on a global scale in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

As the next Up Next act to be spotlighted in East Africa after Abigail Chams, Maya Amolo will be featured across Apple Music’s Up Next playlist. The curated Up Next playlist features a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world. The playlist is genre agnostic and represents a line-up of artists our global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience.

The vast global Up Next roster of past talent includes Grammy-nominated and critically lauded talent like 6lack, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Greta Van Fleet, Khalid, Amy Shark, Billie Eilish, Sabrina Claudio, Sigrid, Mr Eazi, Stefflon Don, Bad Bunny, Juice WLRD, Bazzi, Jax Jones, NCT 127, Summer Walker, Tierra Whack, Dean Lewis, Pink Sweat$, Koffee, Megan Thee Stallion, Burna Boy, Clairo, Lunay, Jessie Reyez, Orville Peck, Victoria Monét, Ingrid Andress, Conan Gray, Don Toliver, Rema, BENEE, Holly Humberstone, Natanael Cano, Giv?on, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Tate McRae, Foushee and Tems.

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