Spotify’s Radar Programme Welcomes Bloody Civilian, Baaba J, Xenia Manasseh, Tyla, and Ria Sean as Inductees
Spotify has revealed the newest RADAR Africa artists, who will join a worldwide cohort as part of the initiative to drive the discovery of upcoming musicians worldwide.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
The melodies of Bloody Civilian, the soulful sounds of Baaba J, the ethereal vocals of Xenia Manasseh, the genre-defying Tyla, and the ferocious intensity of Ria Sean make up this year’s roster of African musicians.
Last year’s grads Ayra Starr, DBN Gogo, Black Sherif, Victony, BNXN, and Buruklyn Boyz were all introduced to new fan communities due to the program. They represent a broad spectrum of styles, from the ambient sounds of West Africa to the skilled Amapiano of South African townships, R&B, alternative, and the inventive Afropop that has taken the globe by storm. They all are passionate about pushing boundaries and developing new routes in their professions.
Spotify’s RADAR program has continued to support musicians on their journeys to superstardom since its inception in 2020, assisting rising talent at all phases of development and improving their relationships with fans. These African musicians that have joined Spotify RADAR reflect the finest that the continent has to offer.
- Bloody Civilian (Nigeria)
Born and raised in Abuja, Nigeria, Bloody Civilian is a genre-defying singer-songwriter and producer passionate about 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)
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 released 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)
Baaba J is a 22-year-old Ghanaian singer and songwriter passionate about 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 harbor city Tema. Her music speaks to meaningful matters such as culture, love, and identity. 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)
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 Kenyan’s R&B/Soul charts and reached an impressive #2 across all genres. Xenia’s talent extends beyond her music, as she has songwriting credits on notable tracks like Teyana Taylor’s ‘Wrong B*tch’ and ‘Shoot it Up’ ft Big Sean. Vanjess’s ‘Surrender’ from the album ‘Homegrown.’ She has collaborated with acclaimed artists such as Sauti Sol, Mr. Eazi, and 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 in Kenya and the top markets of the US, UK, Germany, and South Africa.
- Tyla (South Africa)
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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