“It’s super crazy,” says Pops. “It means that we’re finally being recognised for what we’re doing. We’ve spent hours in the studio and I’ve slept on the floor and I’d be like – what am I even doing right now? But it’s so great and so surreal to be included as Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight.”
Pops’s debut album, NNNN (an acronym for Not Now, Not Never), released through Africori is a celebration of the female form and an eclectic collection of hip hop-rooted tracks.
After being introduced to hip hop in Grade 5 by his cousin Onke, who would play the CDs that came with every issue of South Africa’s Hype Magazine, Pops developed a keen interest in music theory and took up violin until Grade 10. But it was his friendship with producer 808x in Matric that persuaded him to start dabbling in rap music.
His debut alternative single “DTF” (2018) and subsequent high profile feature on The Big Hash’s album “Save Me” (2019) put Pops on the map, but he chose to spend more time perfecting his signature sound before releasing a complete album.
From being influenced by the funk his father played to him growing up, to being a fan of underground indie artists like King Krule, to listening to The Weeknd and Tame Impala while recording, Pops’ appreciation for a myriad of musical genres is reflective on NNNN.
Apple Music’s New Artist Spotlight is a monthly artist development feature focussed on identifying, showcasing and elevating rising star talent across Africa.
Each month, Apple Music’s editorial team selects an artist to promote, utilising the full extent of the platform to raise awareness of the artist.
The program has been running for the past four years and the support given to artists includes main page and genre page featuring, inclusion on the global African Editor page, Beats 1 support, inclusion in top playlists including Mzansi Hits, A-List South Africa, Mzansi House, Future Hits, Mzansi Hip-Hop, New Music Daily, Rising, the brand new playlist Africa Now and more!
Past New Artist Spotlight talent includes award winning and critically acclaimed artists such as Sho Madjozi, Amanda Black, Shekhinah, Shane Eagle, Sun El Musician, The Big Hash, Simmy, Ami Faku and Elaine.
With over 60 million songs, Apple Music offers a free 3-month trial with no commitment and is ad-free. Apple Music is available on iPhone and iPad and also for download from Google Play for Android devices.