Born-and-raised in Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti Region, in southern Ghana, Skyface SDW is a proud member of the Asakaa Boys, a collective of rappers who pioneered Asakaa (Ghanaian Drill) by fusing UK and American Drill that was heavily influenced by late rapper, Pop Smoke.
Breaking away from the collective to forge his own path, Skyface SDW’s debut EP The Menace (2022) is a seven-track exploration of gritty Asakaa and hip hop influences that speak about what they see on the streets and what they go through in life, as he opts to cover his face in order to let his music speak for him.
Apple Music’s Up Next artist development program has had a fruitful history of spotlighting the next wave of creative talent since it was established in August 2017, with Nigerian Grammy Award-winning superstars, Burna Boy and Tems, the first two African artists to be spotlighted on a global scale in 2019 and 2021 respectively.
Expanding to showcase South African talent in March 2021, and then later Nigerian talent in July 2021, Apple Music has had its finger on the pulse of African talent as the eyes and ears of the world have shifted to the melting pot of sounds emerging from the continent.
South African artist alumni include Blxckie, SiBi, Valley Sixteen, Hersch, Ciza, Una Rams, Lucasraps, Filah Lah Lah, Halo Yagami, ByLwansta, SunMan, Money Badoo, Nanette, Amy Lilley, Maglera Doe Boy, aboynamedblu and Eloff, while Nigerian alumni include Ajebo Hustlers, Jaido P, Wavy the Curator, SGaWD, Browny Pondis, TI Blaze, Young Jonn, Ninety, Khaid, Majeeed, Oganya, Kaestyle and Novemba.
“Being part of the Up Next program was a huge step in the right direction for me. Going from releasing music for free to being part of something that allowed me to tap into a fan base across my borders is a dream.” – Blxckie
“Being an Up Next artist was very exciting for me. The exposure and support from Apple Music was an incredible journey and I really appreciate it.” – Young Jonn
“It was a very surreal moment for me because I totally wasn’t expecting to be recognized by such a prominent platform right away. I feel super blessed and honoured and I’m definitely looking forward to what the future holds.” – Halo Yagami
As the first Up Next act to be spotlighted in Ghana, Skyface SDW will be featured across Apple Music’s Ghana Up Next playlist. 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.
“I’m really honoured to be selected as the Apple Music Next Up Artist. It’s been a great journey so far and I can’t wait to share more great music with all of you! Keep supporting me as you’ve always been doing because there’s no Skyface SDW without y’all. God bless y’all,” he says.
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.