Photo: Eric Nopanen.

Apple Music announces Nezsa as the latest Up Next artist in Nigeria

Posted in Entertainment by Monare Matema on 6 May, 2024 at 4:14 p.m.

Today, Apple Music announced alternative R&B singer-songwriter nezsa (real name: Vanessa Adaeze Enoka) as the latest featured artist in its Up Next artist development programme in Nigeria.

“Being selected as an Apple Music Up Next artist is a validation of the emotions and stories I express in every note, in addition to being a defining moment,” she told Apple Music.

Born and raised in Abuja, Nigeria, nezsa has carved out a lane that’s all her own courtesy of her distinct fusion of pop, neo-soul, and R&B elements, aided by her emotive lyrics and distinct vocals. Naming her mother, who is also a singer, as her main inspiration, nezsa believes that she inherited her mother’s voice and drive, while musically, she cites Lana Del Ray, Frank Ocean, and Sade as the artists who have shaped her musical consciousness.

Artists like Tems and Amaarae, who have forged their own paths, have fueled Nezsa's career. Tems even reached out to feature Nezsa on her Apple Music Radio show, The Leading Vibe. Her fervent need to create motivated her to finish her debut EP Bitter-Sweet (2020) in just under a month, introducing her expansive fusion-driven sound to a global audience mid-pandemic.

Her new EP Soul Searching (2024), available to stream on Apple Music, is a genre-blending masterclass, anchored in the sultry single “NWTG” and the reggae and R&B-infused track “Nervous Juice." The way that nezsa alternates between her high and low vocal tones creates a sound that is simultaneously soothing, sensual, and welcoming on Soul Searching.

Apple Music's Nigeria's Up Next playlist will feature nezsa, the newest Up Next act to receive spotlighting in Nigeria. 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 our global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience.

Nezsa joins Shoday, Qing Madi, Rain in April, Khaid, Ninety, Young Jonn, T.I Blaze, Browny Pondis, Ajebo Hustlers, Jaido P, Wavy The Creator, and SGaWD as Apple Music’s growing stable of Up Next artists from Nigeria.

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, Foushee, and Tems.

Written by: Monare Matema
Editor: Anchen Coetzee

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