Apple Music selects Karan Aujla as its first Indian artist for ‘Up Next’ programme

Apple Music’s Up Next is a monthly artist programme that promotes rising stars by leveraging the platform’s extensive resources to increase their visibility among a global audience. For the first time since its 8 year run, the programme is featuring an Indian artist
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In a first of its kind Apple Music has announced that singer, rapper, and lyricist Karan Aujla is the latest addition to its Up Next program, making him the first Indian artist to be selected for this global initiative. The Up Next program aims to identify, showcase, and elevate rising talent from around the world.

Karan Aujla, born Jaskaran Singh Aujla in Ghurala, Punjab, in 1997, moved to Vancouver in 2014 and began his career as a lyricist in 2016. He initially wrote songs for well-known Punjabi artists Jazzy B and Diljit Dosanjh. In 2018, Aujla started his solo career and has since collaborated with prominent rappers like YG and Badshah. Although he is now a successful solo artist, Aujla’s roots as a lyricist are evident in his work, which features clever metaphors and vivid imagery inspired by life in Punjab. His vocal style blends R&B with hard-hitting hip-hop, contributing to his unique sound and success.

Reflecting on his journey, Aujla said, “Transforming my journey from losing my parents at a young age to achieving global influence in my twenties, I have made remarkable strides. Being the first Punjabi artist to be featured as Apple Music’s global Up Next artist highlights my commitment to inspiring my community and upcoming artists.”

Apple Music’s Up Next is a monthly artist programme that promotes rising stars by leveraging the platform’s extensive resources to increase their visibility among a global audience of music fans. Each month, Apple Music’s editorial team selects an artist for the spotlight, offering promotional support through various means, including a short film shot on iPhone, an interview with an Apple Music radio anchor, and more. Previous artists featured in the Up Next programme include Grammy-nominated and critically acclaimed talents such as Khalid, Billie Eilish, Bad Bunny, and Megan Thee Stallion.

Now in its eighth year, the Up Next programme includes a curated companion playlist featuring new and emerging artists chosen by Apple Music editors from around the world. The playlist is diverse, representing various genres and countries, and showcases artists that Apple Music editors are passionate about and eager to introduce to a larger audience. In March 2021, Apple Music expanded the Up Next programme to feature localized campaigns highlighting artists from different countries, including India.

In his exclusive Up Next short film released today, Aujla takes viewers through the Vancouver neighbourhoods he calls home and shares his aspirations for his music. He expresses his desire to break language barriers with his music, much like the global success of “Despacito” in Spanish. “I feel like my music helped a lot of people that don’t know my language understand it too, to some degree. If you love music, you love music. There don’t have to be barriers around it. I listen to Spanish music all the time. I don’t know a word of Spanish. I want to have that one ‘Despacito’ moment with a Punjabi track. That one track that goes everywhere, but nobody knows what the hell it means,” Aujla said in the film.

Punjabi music has been one of the fastest-growing genres on Apple Music, with global streams increasing by 124 per cent over the past two years and streams on editorial playlists growing by 127 per cent, more than twice the industry-wide rate of growth. During the same period, Aujla’s streams on editorial playlists have increased by 265 per cent, and his albums have reached the top 10 of the Apple Music Top Albums Chart in over 20 countries.

As the latest artist to join Apple Music’s Up Next roster, Karan Aujla is set to be the official Up Next playlist cover star and will be prominently featured over the next few months. This induction places him among some of today’s most exciting and promising artists, further solidifying his rising star status in the global music scene.

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