Spotify today launched Fresh Finds Africa to spotlight and develop emerging independent artists from across the continent through its Fresh Finds playlist, which will focus on helping emerging artists to learn and grow by giving them the tools for long-term and sustained career success.
The Fresh Finds playlist serves as a launchpad for up-and-coming artists to get exposure while also catering to fans and industry tastemakers who want to discover fresh new talent. Kenyan twenty-three-year-old Maya Amolo, an alternative R&B artist from Nairobi, has been named as the first Fresh Finds Africa artist.
According to Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music for Sub-Saharan Africa, “Fresh Finds’ artist selection is informed by a combination of data and editorial decision making, with our curation team choosing artists that are showing momentum both on and off Spotify. Spotify has always been committed to connecting fans to up-and-coming artists and the music they love. The Fresh Finds programme is an enhanced version of that.”
Amolo cut her teeth on SoundCloud, collaborating with internet producers to create sad boi tunes including “U Wanna” and “Where Tornados Flew”. Maya’s sugary vocals and soft harmonies quickly amassed her a dedicated listenership and grabbed the attention of local producers and musicians. Maya headlines the inaugural Fresh Finds Africa playlist housed in Spotify’s Fresh Finds hub to showcase tracks from other up-and-coming African artists. In addition to being playlisted with the rest, she gets a one-on-one workshop on the best practices for using the Spotify platform as well as in-app and social support to help her grow her career.
Since its global launch in 2016, Fresh Finds has playlisted over 25,000 artists, with their average monthly listeners increasing by 108% within a month of their songs being included in the playlists.
“For an upcoming artist like Maya, these figures promise an increased audience and opens her up to new opportunities which might not have been possible without Fresh Finds,” concludes Okumu.
Maya’s first body of work, Leave Me At The Pregame, which takes the listener through a melodious journey of self-acceptance and healing, was released in mid-2020. Maya has since gone on to establish herself as one to watch, having been covered by NPR, The Native Mag, Okay Africa and TANGAZA Magazine. She is set to release the first single from her forthcoming project on March 31.
“I am honored to be chosen as the first artist to launch Fresh Finds in Africa. This is a much needed platform for upcoming artists and I am excited for the growth that will come as a result of this,” says Maya.
Fresh Finds Africa will be a monthly programme, with a new artist selected every month by the Spotify music team, and forms part of Spotify’s continued commitment to support the African music industry, through initiatives such as EQUAL and Radar.