The playlist was made public on 2 June, featuring fourth-generation groups such as Enhypen, Cherry Bullet, P1harmony, Viviz, and others. “Leaders Of The New School” seeks to introduce African K-pop stans to groups that debuted from late 2017 to 2022.
Speaking on the choice of cover artists, Ella Okunmwendia said, “ATEEZ and STAYC have quite the presence in Africa. They have peaked on charts in various African countries, and no one can deny their impact.” Both groups have enjoyed radio airplay on Pop Central On YFM and The Kpop Hitlist, Korean pop-centric radio shows in West Africa. In addition, ATEEZ ranked eighth on Pop Central On YFM’s “2021 Most Played Boy Groups” list.
Pop Central ON YFM producers Joella A. Nuer and Dr. Araba Dawson-Amoah, who participated in curating the playlist, entreated fans to pay attention to all the groups on the playlist. “All the groups are equally talented and have amazing music guaranteed to put you in a good mood,” Araba said. Agreeing with her, Joella added, “Beyond the playlist, do check out their discography; you won’t regret it.”
“Leaders of The New School,” a two-part special, is the first playlist curated by Ella Okunmwendia in collaboration with Boomplay. An enthusiast of K-pop in Africa, Ella Okunmwendia is the head producer of Pop Central on Y107.9FM (Ghana) and the host of The Kpop Hitlist on Top Radio 90.9FM (Nigeria). She doubles as a writer and podcast host with EnVi media, a multimedia platform with emphasis on Korean Pop. She has interviewed Korean artists Kwon Eun Bi and YOUNITE and has received recognition from the godparents of Korean hip-hop Tiger JK and Yoon Mirae.
K-pop is fast-growing in Africa with a large audience in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Ghana. The genre is also gaining momentum in Burkina Faso, Uganda, Tanzania and Cameroon. As the biggest streaming platform in Africa, Ella’s partnership with Boomplay is aimed at taking K-pop to the next level on the continent. In addition to curating playlists for the online streaming service, Ella Okunmwendia and the Pop Central crew will create exclusive content for African fans of K-pop.
To enjoy your favorite K-pop songs on the radio, tune in to Pop Central on YFM every Sunday from 4PM to 6PM GMT and The Kpop Hitlist on Top Radio every Wednesday from 3PM to 4PM WAT.
Check out the first installment of the “Leaders of The New School” playlist.