Streaming platform Spotify announced Kenyan singer Maya Amolo as its first-ever Fresh Finds Africa artist as part of its programme tailored to spotlight and develop emerging independent artists from across the continent.
According to Spotify, the Fresh Finds playlist serves as a launchpad for up-and-coming artists to get exposure while also catering to fans and industry tastemakers who want to discover fresh, new talent.
Twenty-three-year-old Maya Amolo is an alternative R&B artist from Nairobi. She cut her teeth on SoundCloud, collaborating with internet producers to create sad boi tunes including U Wanna and Where Tornados Flew.
Maya’s sugary vocals and soft harmonies quickly amassed her a dedicated listenership and grabbed the attention of local producers and musicians, said a statement.
“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.
“Spotify has always been committed to connecting fans to up-and-coming artists and the music they love. The Fresh Finds programme is an enhanced version of that,” adds Okumu.
Since its global launch in 2016, Fresh Finds has playlisted over 25 000 artists, with their average monthly listeners increasing by 108% within a month of their songs being included in the playlists.
Maya’s first body of work, Leave Me At The Pregame, which takes the listener through a melodious journey of self-acceptance and healing, was released in mid-2020.
Maya has since gone on to establish herself as one to watch, having been covered by NPR, The Native Mag, Okay Africa and Tangaza Magazine. She is set to release the first single from her forthcoming project on March 31.
Very grateful to be the cover artist for @Spotify Africa’s inaugural Fresh Finds Africa playlist. I’m featured alongside sooo many super talented artists.
Playlist is live now! Give it a listen here -> https://t.co/6hlZ7qWK7q pic.twitter.com/D3zWDDsflY
— Maya Amolo (@mayaamolo) March 23, 2022
“I am honoured to be chosen as the first artist to launch Fresh Finds in Africa. This is a much-needed platform for upcoming artists and I am excited for the growth that will come as a result of this,” says Maya.
Fresh Finds Africa will be a monthly programme, with a new artist selected every month by the Spotify music team, and forms part of Spotify’s continued commitment to support the African music industry, through initiatives such as Equal and Radar.