Apple Music today announced Kenyan DJ, producer, and label owner, Coco Em (real name Emma Mbeke Nzioka) as its latest Isgubhu cover artist.
“The African dance and electronic scene are always constantly shifting and evolving. In my city, Nairobi, options for music and cultural education have been boosted by organizations that are offering electronic music education curriculums and pushing for exploration of culture and alternative expression in the scene. The end product is an unpredictable and exciting mash-up of sounds. I believe for a scene to thrive, honest and raw artist expression must be encouraged, mentored, and supported.” she tells Apple Music.
Coco Em has also created an exclusive Isgubhu playlist that features tracks that showcase the wide range of electronic talent that Africa has to offer. “I always enjoy the journey of exploring and curating a good playlist. It is a direct reflection of how I present my ideas while at the heart of my DJ sets. This particular one for Apple Music’s Isgubhu encompasses the energy, expectation, excitement, and nervousness of a post-Covid music journey as well as the frustration of the unpredictability of our world.”
Coco Em’s highly awaited first EP Kilumi (2022), which was published independently and is now available to stream on Apple Music, was created out of the depths of lockdown and pays homage to the numerous sorts of music that kept her going at the time. As an outcome, the EP is a lively mix that reflects the most thrilling moods and grooves now sweeping Africa’s dance floors.
Taking over Isgubhu By… for this month is Cape Town-based electronic producer Bakai (real name Hanno Van Den Berg) who has amassed over 3 million streams during his short career. Fusing synthesizers and drum machines, Bakai has become known for creating otherworldly soundscapes from his debut dance-rooted single “Talking About You” feat. Bex (2018) to his smooth lo-fi EP “Kiwi Daze” (2020). He creates authentic dance music layered with ethereal textures. Rich, warm analog sounds are combined to make your feet move and your mind wander.
“My Isgubhu playlist for Apple Music is a combination of artists that have been resonating with me lately. I’m incredibly impressed with the quality of music coming out of the South African dance scene. Each artist on this playlist is crafting their unique sound and feel. Creation, calibration, and innovation never stop within the South African music scene; from artists constructing new sub-genres to introducing original sound palettes, there is a beautiful atmosphere within the scene.” he tells Apple Music.
Isgubhu, which debuted on Apple Music in early 2021, is the definitive home of African Dance and Electronic music, highlighting and elevating the work of African Electronic DJs, producers, and creatives. Isgubhu is a Zulu word that means “beat” and is used to describe a catchy song. It pays homage to an evergreen range of genres as well as African performers who have shaped the Dance and Electronic scene around the world.
Isgubhu also has a playlist called Spotlight On, which focuses on boutique labels like Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds, and Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes, and another called Isgubhu Voices, which focuses on the best Dance and Electronic music with vocals.
Isgubhu is only available on Apple Music: http://apple.co/Isgubhu