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Spotify ushers 5 exceptional rising African stars into Spotify RADAR Programme

Bloody Civilian, Baaba J, Xenia Manasseh, Tyla, and Ria Sean named as Africa’s rising stars

Today, global streaming giant Spotify announced the latest RADAR Africa artists – joining a global cohort as part of the programme dedicated to driving the discovery of emerging artists across the world. This year’s list of African artists is made up of the haunting melodies of Bloody Civilian, the soulful sounds of Baaba J, the ethereal vocals of Xenia Manasseh, the genre-defying Tyla, and the fierce energy of Ria Sean.

The all female lineup joins last year’s alumni Ayra Starr, DBN Gogo, Black Sherif, Victony, BNXN and Buruklyn Boyz who were all exposed to new fan communities as a result of the programme. They represent a wide range of styles, from the ambient sounds of West Africa to the masterful Amapiano of South African townships, R&B, alternative and the creative Afropop that has been taking the world by storm. What they all share is a commitment to pushing boundaries and forging new paths in their careers.

Since launching in 2020, Spotify’s RADAR programme has continued supporting artists on their paths to superstardom, helping rising talent at all stages of their development and strengthening their connection to audiences. These African artists joining the Spotify RADAR programme represent the very best that the continent has to offer.

“As the music industry continues to evolve, it’s essential to find new ways to support emerging talent and offer them a fair chance at success both on and off the platform. So we are thrilled to welcome Xenia Manasseh, Bloody Civilian, Ria Sean, Tyla, and Baaba J to the RADAR programme. These artists represent the diversity and vibrancy of the African music scene and we are excited to support them as they continue to grow their careers,” says Victor Okpala, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager, West Africa.

From today, Spotify will prioritise the promotion of RADAR playlists, RADAR podcasts, Spotify Singles, and priority releases from RADAR artists across all regions.

About the artists

Bloody Civilian (Nigeria)

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Born and raised in Abuja, Nigeria, Bloody Civilian is a genre-defying singer-songwriter and producer with a passion for storytelling. Inspired by her African heritage and a wide range of musical influences, Civilian’s sound is a fusion of alt-R&B and other genres. She began studying music production at the age of 12 and has since self-produced her debut single, How To Kill A Man. Bloody is driven by a desire to empower and elevate African art and history through her music, making her a rising star to watch in the industry.

Ria Sean (Nigeria)

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Ria Sean is a rising Nigerian singer-songwriter who combines Afro-fusion, pop, and R&B into her music. With a distinctive and versatile voice, she has collaborated with artists like Leriq, Moelogo, and Adekunle Gold. Her 2020 hit single Lemonade gained international attention, and she went on to release her debut EP Fluid featuring productions from Saszy, Dunnie, and Grammy-nominated producer TMXO. Her sophomore project Love Station features collaborations with Ayra Starr and French-act Yseult. Ria Sean is a rising star to watch in the R&B scene.

Baaba J (Ghana)

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Baaba J is a 22-year-old Ghanaian singer and songwriter with a passion for music and film. Her alternative afro music blends indigenous high life, pop, rap, and soul, with a unique sound that has won the hearts of many. Baaba J’s debut EP, Lumumba St., released in December 2020, was the major launchpad for her career. She draws inspiration from her childhood experiences, growing up in a big family in Ghana’s harbour city Tema. Her music speaks to meaningful matters such as culture, love, and identity, and she is on a mission to show the world that Africans, especially African women, have what it takes to take the world by storm with their unique, multi-faceted music.

Xenia Manasseh (Kenya)

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This Kenyan singer-songwriter, possesses a captivating voice that brings a refreshing and pure sound to the music scene. Her debut EP Fallin’ Apart, released in 2019, quickly soared to number one on the Kenyan’s R&B/Soul charts and reached an impressive #2 across all genres. Xenia’s talent extends beyond her own music, as she has songwriting credits on notable tracks like Teyana Taylor’s “Wrong B*tch” and “Shoot it Up” ft Big Sean, as well as Vanjess’s Surrender from the album “Homegrown.” She has collaborated with acclaimed artists such as Sauti Sol, Mr Eazi, Tay Iwar, and has contributed background vocals on Burna Boy’s “Time Flies.” With her genre-defining R&B sound, Xenia Manasseh is making waves not only in Kenya but also in the top markets of the US, UK, Germany, and South Africa.

Tyla (South Africa)

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Tyla’s music is a fresh take on pop and R&B, blending South African amapiano and innovative production. Her emotionally-rich songs started at a young age and have led to international success with hits like Getting Late. Her new singles, Been Thinking and To Last, showcase her versatility and push her artistry forward. Tyla was determined to unlock what had always been inside her. “Getting Late” was the breakthrough, and her late 2021 song “Overdue” featuring DJ Lag and Kooldrink soundtracked the second-season trailer of Netflix’s South African teen drama Blood & Water, but “Been Thinking” and “To Last” find Tyla in full control of her own story, especially the emotional “To Last.”

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