Apple Music just announced AUX Sessions alum, SGaWD as the latest addition to its Up Next program, a monthly initiative geared toward identifying and highlighting rising star talents.
The 22-year-old artist joins Tems as the second artist who first got their spotlight on the AUX platform before going on to capture the attention of the world. She is joining others like Rema, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Ajebo Hustlers and others on Apple Music’s growing list of Up Next artists from Nigeria.
“It feels really good to be selected as Apple Music Up Next artist because for me it’s not only like an honor but it’s like an affirmation that everything that I’ve been doing for the past almost two years has been the right thing,” she said. “It takes a lot to imagine something in your head and then start working on it and then bring it to compilation and then share it and then people connect with it so that is an amazing thing and I’m hoping to bask in all of it.”
Earlier this year, SGaWD teamed up with Cool FM’s Aux Africa to deliver a 3-track project, ‘Phobia’ where she shows off her ability to combine her Nigerian roots, hip-hop sensibilities and her love for r&b. AUX Africa’s passion for discovering the new sounds of Africa has seen the platform develop a knack for spotlighting emerging stars and serve the vital role of a discovery platform in the Nigerian music ecosystem.
“Having my AUX Session shaped me as a better artist because it gave me more confidence. Haven worked my way to a point where people like Cool Fm and AUX Africa can recognize my work and see it as something that’s good enough to share with their listeners on their platform. Yeah it gave me confidence to move forward and it still gives me confidence going forward.”
The singer-rapper released her debut solo EP, ‘Savage Bitch Juice’ just over a week ago and it is already making waves, providing the soundtrack for Snapchat and IG story posts as we get ready for the festive season in Lagos. She’s bringing a new energy to the Nigerian music scene with her dynamic songwriting and recklessly play on the accepted pop conventions in Nigeria.
“We strive to scout for a dynamic class of new and emerging artists to expose them to larger audiences and SGaWD fit the criteria with her confidence inspiring debut single, “Are You Dumb?”, the AUX team lead, Kolapo Oladapo explained. Commenting on the decision to create the digital platform for the radio station, Cool FM CEO, Serge Noujaim explained, “The sheer magnitude of new artists makes finding exceptional ones a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack. We created AUX to provide an intimate live music session for new talents to show off their skill and also create a new means of music discovery in Africa.”
As part of the package to introduce Up Next artists to a larger audience, SGaWD is expected to feature on Apple Music-exclusive series and interviews that come with the mini-documentary series chronicling the artist’s journey, inspirations and influences.
And just like Billie Eilish, Khalid, Bad Bunny and others who have previously been selected as Apple Music’s Up Next artists, the Are You Dumb artist will also receive a performance slot on either “The Late Late Show with James Corden” or “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
She has already received nods from Afropop tastemakers like Amaarae, reputable publications like NATIVE and with her latest Apple Music cosign, it’s only a matter of time before she starts dominating global charts like Tems, her fellow AUX Session alum.
You can watch her AUX Sessions performance and Cypher below. SGaWD – WhorePhobia || Aux Session