Summer Walker Named the First Apple Music Up Next Artist of 2019
Apple Music today announces LVRN/Interscope Records artist Summer Walker as the first Up Next artist of 2019. The influential Up Next series identifies and elevates rising global talent of all genres, and over the past two years has been a key platform for showcasing contemporary R&B breakout artists. Walker will join the ranks of fellow Up Next R&B Grammy-nominated alum like Daniel Caesar, Khalid, 6lack and H.E.R.. The low-key R&B powerhouse who writes with refreshing honesty and has been described as "the love child of Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse," has become an Apple Music R&B mainstay featured across multiple playlists since the release of her breakout single "CPR" in April 2018. Walker's "Girls Need Love" track debuted in August and is still #4 on the platform's R&B charts under the likes of Khalid and Ella Mai (and still in Apple Music's Top 100 Songs chart overall). Her debut LP, Last Day of Summer is the #2 R&B album on Apple Music and cements Walker's rising star status as the #8 R&B artist worldwide across Apple Music, up 313% in the last three months.
"I'm really humbled that Apple considered me for this campaign, it's very appreciated and exciting," said Summer Walker.
"Summer is a beautifully introverted soul who perfectly expresses herself through the music she chooses to make exactly the way she wants to make it,' said Beats 1 anchor Julie Adenuga. "I love her truth."
"Summer Walker represents all the great qualities of R&B," said Ebro Darden, Apple Music's Global Editorial Director for Hip-Hop and R&B. "I was introduced to Summer Walker's magic courtesy of Alaysia Sierra at Apple Music who has continued to make sure R&B is handled correctly in our eco-system."
Fans can tune-in to the exclusive Up Next short film shot entirely on iPhone XS and available on Apple Music on January 22. In the film, Walker admits, "I've never been a girl who writes in her diary. Pro Tools sessions are my diary pages." Through interviews with friends, family members, and collaborators, Walker's story unfolds from her earliest days playing guitar alone in her bathroom to taking the stage in a crowded club.
Going into 2019, Apple Music's Up Next artist program will expand in its third year to also include a curated companion Up Next playlist featuring a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music editors from around the world. The playlist is genre and country agnostic and represents a line-up of artists our global editors are passionate about and eager to expose to a larger audience. Starting today, Summer Walker will kick off the new Up Next playlist as the official cover star to be spotlighted throughout the month.
Summer Walker is quietly carving out a niche of her own. Signed to LVRN/Interscope Records, her breakout single "CPR" has over 18 million streams on Apple while her follow up single, "Girls Need Love" has over 56 million streams on Apple. Summer's garnered early praise from the likes of Billboard & Noisey and has been featured on several of 2019's Ones to Watch lists. In October of 2018 Summer released her project, Last Day of Summer, which represented the culmination of a breakthrough year. Complex touts, "It's still early days, but Summer Walker's emergence feels like the start of something very special." Summer unassumingly started the project back in August 2017 by merging her passion for R&B, soul, pop, and alternative and it shows. Like the love child of Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse, Summer Walker brings a new fire and flavor to R&B.
Up Next is Apple Music's monthly program geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising star talent. Each month, Apple Music's editorial team selects an artist to promote, utilizing the full force of the platform to raise awareness of the artist to its growing global audience of music fans. The program includes a short film shot entirely on iPhone XS introducing the artist, an interview with one of our Beats 1 anchors and more. This year, Apple Music has expanded the success around the Up Next artist program to include a curated companion 'Up Next' playlist featuring a dynamic class of new and emerging artists, thoughtfully hand-picked by Apple Music global editors from around the world. As the newest induction into Apple Music's Up Next roster, Summer Walker joins some of today's most exciting and promising artists.