By Judith Gicobi
Spotify selected Kenyan singer Maya Amolo as its first-ever Fresh Finds Africa artist on Wednesday, as part of a program designed to promote and support young independent musicians from across the continent, according to a statement.
The initiative, which is centered on the Fresh Finds playlist, aims to assist young artists in learning and growing by providing them with the resources they need to achieve long-term and sustained professional success.
The Fresh Finds playlist, according to Spotify, provides as a platform for up-and-coming artists to get visibility while also catering to fans and industry tastemakers looking for new music.
Maya Amolo, a Nairobi-based alternative R&B performer, is 23 years old. She got her start on Sound Cloud, where she collaborated with online producers on songs like U Wanna and Where Tornados Flew. Maya’s sweet voice and delicate harmonies immediately drew a loyal following and the attention of local producers and musicians, according to a statement.
Maya is the featured artist on Spotify’s Fresh Finds Africa playlist, which features tunes from other up-and-coming African artists. She gets a one-on-one session on the best practices for utilizing the Spotify platform, as well as in-app and social assistance to help her expand her career, in addition to being play listed with the others.
“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,” says Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Fresh Finds has playlisted over 25 000 artists since its global launch in 2016, with their average monthly listeners growing by 108 percent within a month of their tracks being added to the playlists.
Fresh Finds Africa will be a monthly program, with a new artist chosen by the Spotify music team every month. It is part of Spotify’s ongoing commitment to promote the African music business, as seen by projects like Equal and Radar.