Apple Music’s new campaign, First Gen, is a celebration of the African Diaspora, spotlighting the unique talent and creative edge of first generation Africans.
The campaign features artists from The Americas, Europe and Asia who are either Africans born abroad, or children of Africans who were born and live outside of Africa. It’s this unique combination of their ancestral experiences coupled with their new surroundings that has created a new league of artists with a totally fresh perspective on their dual heritage.
The Weeknd (Ethiopia), Doja Cat (South Africa), Skepta (Nigeria), Stormzy (Ghana), are all first generation artists taking part in this celebration, with Skepta and Stormzy having created hit singles with African superstars WizKid (“Energy”) and Burna Boy (“Real Life”), respectively.
First Gen will also feature exclusive artwork designed by Uzo Njoku, a Nigerian-born, New York-based artist who received a BA in Studio Art from the University of Virginia and is currently an MFA Candidate at the New York Academy of Art.
“As an artist growing up in America with Nigerian roots, it really has been an experience watching Music in the African diaspora transcend to new levels. I felt that I could embody and infuse the Apple Music First Gen project with that exciting growth using bold patterns and contemporary figures,” Uzo tells Apple Music.
Uzo works in oil paint, acrylic, and collage to create bold and colourful paintings that depict melanin figures in different forms, while incorporating her beautiful patterns to create contrast and depth. She also utilises her striking patterns in her apparel production in the wide range of products that she creates.
There will also be a First Gen radio special on The Dotty Show featuring Nigerian-born USA-based singer Mannywellz, British-Ghanian artist and producer Juls and Darkoo.