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Apple Music launches platform for African dance music, Isgubhu

It will host exclusive playlists, DJ mixes, and more

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 12 February 2021
Apple Music launches platform for African dance music, Isgubhu

Apple Music has launched a new platform called Isgubhu, which it’s calling “the ultimate destination for African Dance and Electronic music.”

Stephen Campbell, Apple Music’s Global Head of Dance and Electronic music, said: “Apple Music has been a long term supporter of the incredible DJs, artists and producers within the Dance and Electronic music community in Africa and we’re very excited about the launch of Isgubhu. Our regional teams are true advocates for the culture and we’re committed to continuing to connect artists to a global audience.”

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Isgubhu, a Zulu word that translates as ‘beat’, will host a selection of playlists covering multiple genres and scene spotlights, as well as having a section dedicated to seminal albums from the history of dance and electronic music from the continent.

Subgenres which will there include gqom, amapiano, kwaito, mzansi house, deep house and Shangaan electro, while ‘Spotlight On:’ playlists will focus on African labels such as Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds and Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes.

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The first cover star of the platform is Black Coffee, who has started curating the Isgubhu Voices playfist, which features a span of electronic music with vocals.

Black Coffee said: "It's a true honour to be titled as the very first Isgubhu hero artist by my friends at Apple Music. To me, home is everything... the absolute core of my being. Bringing the sounds of South Africa to the world is a life-long mission I'll never stop chasing after.”

Exclusive mixes will also be hosted on the platform, with the likes of DJ Zinhle, Caiiro, Kabza De Small, Kyle Watson, Stiff Pap, DBN Gogo, Da Capo, Gina Jeanz, and more, locked in to contribute.

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Kid Fonque, founder of Stay True Sounds, said: "Apple Music has always shown great interest in my labels and the independent music they showcase from incredibly talented artists around South Africa. The support received from Apple Music really goes a long way in this day and age when non-commercial music has to compete with Top 40 worldwide hits on global playlists. Thank you for always making it about the music and supporting Stay True Sounds & STY TRU BTS and their artists to release homegrown independent music to the world.”

Check out Isgubhu on Apple Music here.

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter

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