News Brief
Image courtesy of Apple Music.

Rema Is Apple Music's New 'Up Next' Artist

Exclusive: Watch the buzzing Nigerian artist's 'Up Next' short film and announcement.

Rema is the latest artist to get a spot in Apple Music's Up Next program, OkayAfrica is excited to announce today.

The young artist has become one of the leading voices of the new Nigerian generation since the release of his debut Rema EP and subsequent Bad Commando EP, riding on massive hits like "Dumebi," the titular "Bad Commando," and "Iron Man," which even made it onto Barack Obama's playlist. He also recently earned a 2020 BET Award nomination.

Rema's inclusion in the Up Next program comes paired with a new short film shot by the artist himself in Lagos, which we're getting a first look at here today. It follows Rema as he talks about the spirituality behind his music and wanting to "take Africa to the world, if the world can't come to Africa."


"Getting recognised by Apple as their Up Next artist is a huge deal for me," says Rema. "I want to take Afrobeats to the world and now the world is listening, it's an honour. This has come during a time when across the world people are uniting and coming together to fight for justice. This generation, my generation, are standing up and speaking out and it's amazing to see, I am standing right beside them."

"Rema embodies the youth movement emerging from...Africa," adds Ebro Darden, Apple Music's Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B. "His voice has carried him from Benin City, Nigeria to Barack Obama's 2019 Summer Playlist. He's been cosigned by Drake and Rihanna and has remixes to his music with Becky G, Matoma and Major Lazer. Rema is a shy, young artist who has managed to capture the world's attention with his art. We are excited to amplify him further and can't wait to see what he'll do with his platform next."

Watch Rema's Up Next short above.

Image courtesy of Apple Music.

News
Photo: Alvin Ukpeh.

The Year Is 2020 & the Future of Nigeria Is the Youth

We discuss the strength in resolve of Nigeria's youth, their use of social media to speak up, and the young digital platforms circumventing the legacy media propaganda machine. We also get first-hand accounts from young creatives on being extorted by SARS and why they believe the protests are so important.

In the midst of a pandemic-rife 2020, the voices of African youth have gotten louder in demand for a better present and future. From structural reforms, women's rights, LGBTQ rights, and derelict states of public service, the youths have amplified their voices via the internet and social media, to cohesively express grievances that would hitherto have been quelled at a whisper.

Nigerian youth have used the internet and social media to create and sustain a loud voice for themselves. The expression of frustration and the calls for change may have started online, but it's having a profound effect on the lives of every Nigerian with each passing day. What started as the twitter hashtag #EndSARS has grown into a nationwide youth revolution led by the people.

Even after the government supposedly disbanded the SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) unit on the 10th of October, young Nigerians have not relented in their demands for better policing. The lack of trust for government promises has kept the youth protesting on the streets and online.

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