Unveiling Candy Bleakz: The Street-Hop Queen of Apple Music’s Africa Rising

Estimated read time 3 min read

In a symphony of excitement, Apple Music proudly unveils the newest star to grace its illustrious Africa Rising artist development program: none other than Nigerian street-hop sensation, Candy Bleakz, whose real name echoes her essence, Akiode Blessing Mariam.

“I want to extend my deepest gratitude to the Apple Music family for selecting me as the African Rising Artist for the month of March. This acknowledgment is a testament to the relentless hustle and dedication I’ve poured into my craft over the years. It serves as proof that no matter where you come from, with faith, perseverance, hard work, and a supportive team, the sky’s the limit. Interestingly, 2024 is hailed as the year of the dragon in the Chinese zodiac. This is only the beginning! Thank you for allowing a street girl like me to represent our stories and struggles on a global stage! Here’s to brighter days ahead! Maaaaafee!”

Candy’s harmonious journey with music began at the tender age of eight, as she lent her voice to the melodious hymns of the church choir. However, it wasn’t until fate intervened during a school competition, where she filled in for an absent performer and found herself crafting her own lyrical tales, that her passion truly ignited.

Yet, it was amidst her rigorous Medical studies at Onabisi Onabanjo University in Nigeria’s Ogun State that Candy dared to chase her musical dreams full-throttle. Triumphantly clinching victory in the Lagos Got Talent show of 2016, she soon found herself in the orbit of Chocolate City’s then-CEO and acclaimed producer, Mi Abaga.

Signing with Chocolate City under the Street Billionaires label marked a pivotal chapter in Candy’s narrative. A subsequent partnership with Warner Music prompted a transformative solo journey, characterized by the release of her debut EP “Fire” (2022) and its breakout single “Tikuku,” masterfully crafted by the two-time Grammy-winning producer, Rexxie.

Following the EP’s success, Candy dropped “Wale” (2023), a soul-baring anthem chronicling her relentless grind, which catapulted her to even greater heights. This momentum carried her into 2024 with the release of “Wale” (Remix), featuring the enchanting vocals of Simi, setting the stage for a monumental year ahead.

Join Candy Bleakz and a constellation of Africa’s brightest talents as they illuminate the Apple Music Africa Rising Playlist, a sonic tapestry pulsating with raw talent and boundless potential.

Embark on a voyage of discovery with Africa Rising, Apple Music’s exclusive artist development program and companion playlist, dedicated to unveiling the continent’s future icons. Past Africa Rising luminaries include Omah Lay, Manu Worldstar, Tems, Amaarae, Ayra Starr, Yaw Tog, Blxckie, and Nikita Kering. Witness the magic unfold as Apple Music handpicks six exceptional artists annually, propelling them into the global spotlight.

Africa Rising stands as the apex of Apple Music’s unwavering commitment to showcasing African brilliance to the world. With a presence spanning over 165 countries, Apple Music 1 hosts Africa Now Radio, featuring captivating interviews with titans of African music, from Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade to Burna Boy and Mr Eazi.

In a testament to their dedication, Apple Music has crowned Nigerian songstress Tems as its Up Next artist in 2021, following the footsteps of Afrofusion luminary Burna Boy in 2019 and the visionary Rema in 2020. Up Next signifies Apple Music’s pledge to nurture emerging talent on a global scale, ensuring that the stars of tomorrow shine brightly today.

Lehlohonolo Melato http://www.dannywired.co.za

Lehlohonolo Melato is a passionate music aficionado hailing from Lesotho, who also doubles as a skilled entertainment and lifestyle writer

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