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Apple Music today announced Joburg based singer-songwriter Ciza (real name Nkululeko Nciza) as its latest Up Next South Africa artist.

“The music I make is a reflection of the decisions and sacrifices I have made as an artist and it’s an honour to have that recognised by Apple Music. My debut EP is about merging different African genres and creating a sound anyone can listen to. My music represents African love and the different ways to express it through the different lingos I use throughout the EP. This music is not just African, it’s universal”.

The son of Mafikizolo lead singer, Nhlanhla Nciza, and SA music mogul, TK Nciza, Ciza grew up surrounded and influenced by some of the country’s biggest artists like DJ Maphorisa, Zahara, DJ Sbu, AKA, Mafikizolo, ProKid, and Robbie Malinga.

Influenced by the new age Afrobeats fusion melodies of Davido, Wizkid and Burna Boy, Ciza has prioritised adapting his African-rooted sounds and stories for a Gen Z audience, with the intention of taking them global.

With his debut single “Come Alive” (2020) reaching #1 on the SA Radio Charts, Ciza’s follow up single “Adje”(2020) capitalised on this success, notching up over 1 million views on Youtube and breaking across Europe, featuring on BBC Extra 1’s Afro-pop chart.

Ciza’s debut EP, Golden Boy Pack (2021), was created during lockdown and is intended to bring a sense of joy and relief to those who have suffered during the ongoing pandemic. Featuring DJ Maphorisa, Marioo, Major League, and Abidoza, Ciza’s intention with his debut EP is to spark a dance party and evoke feelings of joyfulness, while celebrating African pride on a global scale.

As the latest Up Next artist to be spotlighted in South Africa, Ciza will be featured across Apple Music’s South African 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 that their 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 and Fousheé.


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