Neo-soul singer-songwriter Roho (real name Gomotsegang Maponyane), has been named as the latest recipient of Apple Music’s Up Next program for August, a local version of their global emerging artist platform which they launched early in 2021.
“Where I come from this rarely happens,” Roho tells Apple Music. “I am really honoured to be a part of such a great and important moment. Thank you to Apple Music for selecting me as their Up Next artist for South Africa.”
Born and raised in a remote area in Mokopane, near Polokwane, before his parents moved to Tshwane, Roho’s musical consciousness was rooted in and shaped by his parents’ love of classic soul singers like Anita Baker and Ella Fitzgerald, reflective in their rich collection of vinyls. He merged this influence with his own discovery and love for neo-soul singers, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu, to produce a new-age kind of soul that’s both sensitive and introspective, as highlighted by his debut albumEphemeral (2020).
Roho’s latest release,Vesper(2023), released independently and available to stream on Apple Music, showcases acute attention to production detail, creating a moody, groove-filled soundscape that features Tyson Sybatelli, UNCOOL and NKLY.
As the newest Up Next artist to be spotlighted in South Africa, Roho will be featured across Apple Music’s Up Next playlist https://apple.co/3eITdJd. 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.
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, Fousheé and Tems.