Ebne Hakim Breaks New Ground as Apple Music’s Latest Up Next Artist in East Africa

Ebne Hakim Apple Music Up Next East Africa
Ebne Hakim Apple Music Up Next East Africa

Apple Music today announced the latest artist to be featured in its new Up Next artist development program in East Africa, is Ethiopian pop singer-songwriter, Ebne Hakim (real name Mikyas Mengistu).

“It feels amazing that East Africa is being noticed on the music scene,” he tells Apple Music. “And having a project made in Ethiopia by an Ethiopian artist reach this milestone is unreal. I’m extremely grateful that artists from this generation and the music they produce can travel globally and make a difference. I’m proud of everyone who made this possible—thank you!”

Born and raised in Ethiopia’s bustling capital of Addis Ababa, Ebne Hakim’s (ዕብነ ሐኪም) musical consciousness was shaped by the rhythmic pulse of traditional Ethiopian melodies and influenced by artists like pop icon Michael Jackson and multi-award winning singer Bruno Mars, as well as Ethiopian greats like Teddy Afro, Theodros Tadesse, and Ejigayehu Shibabaw (Gigi).

His debut single “Gela” (2024), a blend of alternative R&B, pop, and electronic elements and sung in Amharic, introduced his signature Ethio-Fusion style, showcasing his innovative approach and ability to captivate and inspire a growing audience.

On his debut EP Brana (2024), available to stream on Apple Music, Hakim fuses traditional sounds with R&B, funk, soul, and electronic elements to create six sweeping arrangements within a sound that he’s dubbed “Ethio-fusion”. This coming-of-age EP balances the past and the present, while Hakim journeys towards fulfilment and self-determination.

As the next Up Next act to be spotlighted in East Africa after Polaris Pauline, Ebene Hakim 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, Foushee and Tems.

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