JOHANNESBURG – Apple Music announced Afro-pop singer-songwriter Kash Kaaria (real name Mukami Kaaria) is the newest artist to be featured in its new Up Next artist development program in East Africa.
“I am truly honoured to be selected as Apple Music’s Up Next artist,” she tells Apple Music. “Being in an emerging market like Kenya and being recognized by Apple Music just goes to show that it really doesn’t matter where you’re from, it’s the passion and work which will take you to greater heights.
“It gives me a sense of fulfilment that my music is about to reach a greater audience while I’m keeping true to my roots. Hopefully, this will go on to inspire Kenyan artists and artists in general from emerging markets, so they’ll know that they can also be up next.”
Drawing inspiration from her Swahili African roots, Kash Kaaria’s music combines the rich rhythms and melodies of her Kenyan-born heritage with electronic beats, to create an eclectic Afro-pop sound that has captured the attention of a global audience.
Now living in London, Kaaria’s music continues to transcend borders, while she makes frequent visits back to her home country to perform at events and festivals, even serving as the opening act for Jamaican Grammy Award-winning artist Koffee when he headlined Nairobi’s prestigious Blankets and Wine festival in 2018.
Her debut EP Strings Attached (2021), released through Black Icon Entertainment and available to stream on Apple Music, is a harmonious blend of classical and futuristic elements, exploring universal themes of love and self-discovery, while her double volume EP Acme, due for release in July, is set to reinforce her penchant for genre-fusion.
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 latest Up Next act to be spotlighted in East Africa after mau from nowhere, Kash Kaaria will be featured across Apple Music’s East Africa 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 playlistis 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.