Last week Apple Music held their first media briefing sessions in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The sessions were mainly to educate our media at-large on the various functions offered by the leading music streaming app, but also welcome Ebro Darden to SA by hosting three panels with the Rap Life, Beats1 presenter.
The lauded presenter interviewed Shane Eagle, Nasty C and YoungstaCPT over the three panels and discussed various topics with the musos ranging from their origins and their songwriting processes, to the issue of cultural identity which defines the rap coming out of both cities.
In Cape Town, I asked Darden what he thought the similarities (but conversely, differences) are between the rap culture of both cities and he remarked how he thought “identity” underpinned their commonality.
YoungstaCPT also spoke boldly and eloquently about growing up on the Cape Flats and being the torch-bearer for coloured culture and Capetonian hip hop, even though that was never his intention.
Making parallels between Cape Town and L.A. (the palm trees, the ocean, the women, the weed) YoungstaCPT highlighted the similarities between the two cities by pointing out their polarising opposites, and the 27-year-old completely stole the Cape Town panel for me.
Darden’s discussions with artists aside, Apple Music also had their SA team on-hand to showcase certain new and revamped features on the App.
Perhaps the biggest take away for my from these briefings (I attended both because I’m super extra like that) is the Apple Music for Artists function finally coming out of BETA and launching as a brand new standalone iOS app for iPhone.
The app provides artists and their teams with access to invaluable streams and sales data as well as a level of detail beyond anything currently available. But perhaps the most exciting thing is Apple Music’s Shazam integration which means artists can see their Shazam data, including the top Shazamed cities and countries.
Having worked for a music streaming app for 5 years, I appreciate it when apps are transparent and I really hope Apple Music do more of these.
Pics courtesy of Aaron Polikoff/Closure.