on June 17, 2020, Apple Music announced Nigerian artist, Rema as its latest artist to be featured on the ‘Up Next’ program. Apple Music’s monthly artist initiative geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent.
since the release of his debut EP “Rema EP”, Rema has become one of the leading voices of the new wave of Nigerian afrobeats artists.with back to back hits like “Dumebi”, “Bad commando” and “Iron Man,” which even made it onto Barack Obama’s playlist. He also recently earned a 2020 BET Award nomination.
According to Apple Music, “Since the debut of his Rema – EP in March 2019, Rema has become the #18 World Artist across Apple Music based on lifetime plays.”
Rema tells Apple Music that, “Getting recognised by Apple as their Up Next artist is a huge deal for me. 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.”
Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B Ebro Darden notes that, “Rema embodies the youth movement emerging from the continent of Africa. His voice has carried him from Benin City, Nigeria to Barack Obama’s 2019 Summer Playlist.
“He’s been co-signed 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.”
Rema’s Up Next short was recorded remotely in Lagos by the artist himself. During the interview, Rema talks about how he got his name. After Darden asked Rema what his name means and how he got it the artist replies, “It means a revelation from another dimension.
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“The full name is ‘RHEMA,’ but I shortened it to ‘Rema’… I got it from church, I felt my sound resonates with the name… I started calling myself Rema. I started calling myself Rema when I was 14 – I used to call myself Blitz… I switched my name from Blitz to Rema because I felt Rema matches my sound.”
The MAVIN artist then repeats his manifesto, “The goal is to take Africa to the world, if the world can’t come to Africa. That’s the plan.”
watch the full interview here
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