Kenyan DJ, producer and label owner, Coco Em (real name Emma Mbeke Nzioka) is Apple Music's latest Isgubhu cover artist.
“The African dance and electronic scene is always constantly shifting and evolving. In my own city Nairobi, options for music and cultural education have been boosted by organizations who are offering electronic music education curriculums and pushing for exploration of culture and alternative expression in the scene. The end product is an unpredictable and exciting mash-up of sounds. I believe for a scene to thrive, honest and raw artist expression must be encouraged, mentored and supported.” she tells Apple Music.
Coco Em has also created an exclusive Isgubhu playlist that features tracks that showcase the wide range of electronic talent that Africa has to offer. “I always enjoy the journey of exploring and curating a good playlist. It is a direct reflection of how I present my ideas while in the heart of my DJ sets. This particular one for Apple Music's Isgubhu encompasses the energy, expectation, excitement and nervousness of a post-Covid music journey as well as the frustration of the unpredictability of our world.”
The release of Coco Em’s much-anticipated debut EP Kilumi (2022), released independently and available to stream on Apple Music, was born out of the depths of lockdown and pays homage to the various types of music that kept her going during that time. As a result, the EP is a vibrant collection and reflection of the most exciting moods and grooves taking over dance floors across Africa at the moment.
Taking over Isgubhu By… for this month is Cape Town-based electronic producer Bakai (real name Hanno Van Den Berg) who has amassed over 3 million streams during his short career. Fusing synthesisers and drum machines, Bakai has become known for creating otherworldly soundscapes from his debut dance-rooted single “Talking About You” feat. Bex (2018) to his smooth lo-fi EP “Kiwi Daze” (2020). He creates authentic dance music layered with ethereal textures. Rich, warm analogue sounds are combined to make your feet move and your mind wander.
“My Isgubhu playlist for Apple Music is a combination of artists that have been resonating with me lately. I’m incredibly impressed with the quality of music coming out of the South African dance scene. Each artist on this playlist is crafting their unique sound and feeling. Creation, calibration and innovation never stop within the South African music scene; from artists constructing new sub-genres to introducing original sound palettes, there is a beautiful atmosphere within the scene.” he tells Apple Music.
Launched in early 2021, Isgubhu is the definitive home of African Dance and Electronic music on Apple Music and spotlights and elevates the work of African Electronic DJs, producers and creatives. Isgubhu, a Zulu word meaning beat and used to refer to a banging song, pays homage to an evergreen set of genres and the African artists who have played a pivotal role in shaping the Dance and Electronic scene across the world.
Isgubhu also houses a collection of playlists including Spotlight On - a focus on boutique labels like Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds and Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes and Isgubhu Voices - a focus on the best Dance and Electronic tracks that feature vocals.
Listen to Isgubhu only on Apple Music http://apple.co/Isgubhu