Apple Music today announced alternative singer-songwriter Darkua (real name Naa Darkua Chinonye Wristberg) is the next artist to be featured in its new Up Next artist development program in Ghana.
“Being selected as Apple Music’s Up Next for Ghana feels like a dream! It almost felt impossible at a point. Knowing how it all started for me, this is a huge step in my career as an Afrofusion artist. With my recently released single, ECHO, I’m hoping to empower as many women as possible about being confident in their sexual lives, and also to let them know that, it is possible to take charge of, and go for whatever they want.” Says Darkua.
Darkua’s musical education is rooted in the music that her parents exposed her to from the tender age of four, like the late, great High Life vocalist A.B Crenstil, Tempos band leader and the “King of Highlife” E.T Mensah, masked Afrobeats singer Lagbaja, and many more, resulting in the discographies of Ghana’s greatest directly influencing her musical growth.
Her Ghanaian and Nigerian roots provide the perfect fusion for her to be able to explore distinct sounds and her debut single “Amalelor” (2021), produced by Ghanaian producer Viqtorioz, boldly announced her presence and quickly became a fan-favourite after being playlisted across Ghana’s FM stations.
After taking a year to work on her craft, Darkua released her fourth single “Echo” (2023), teaming up again with Viqtorioz to produce a lush, empowering Afro-soul track that stands as her most groove-worthy to-date, and details a woman who is comfortable and confident in telling her partner how she wants to be satisfied.
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.
Expanding to showcase South African talent in March 2021, and then later Nigerian talent in July 2021, Apple Music has had its finger on the pulse of African talent as the eyes and ears of the world have shifted to the melting pot of sounds emerging from the continent.
South African artist alumni include Blxckie, SiBi, Valley Sixteen, Hersch, Ciza, Una Rams, Lucasraps, Filah Lah Lah, Halo Yagami, ByLwansta, SunMan, Money Badoo, Nanette, Amy Lilley, Maglera Doe Boy, aboynamedblu and Eloff, while Nigerian alumni include Ajebo Hustlers, Jaido P, Wavy the Curator, SGaWD, Browny Pondis, TI Blaze, Young Jonn, Ninety, Khaid, Majeeed, Oganya, Kaestyle and Novemba.
As the latest Up Next act to be spotlighted in Ghana, Darkua will be featured across Apple Music’s Ghana 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 playlist is 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, Givēon, beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Tate McRae, Foushee and Tems.