Back in May, Spotify announced a monumental initiative designed to invest in and amplify the work of Black creators in music and beyond. Today, the streaming giant has teamed up with Black woman-operated creative agency FourTwo Creative to rollout a new campaign continuing the momentum of the new budding creator hub.
Frequency Podcast Campaign — which features a two-part video series highlighting select Black creators who have chosen podcasting as their creative avenue — was created by both parties in an effort to spotlight a space where Black voices are moving the needle and becoming a dominant force in audio.
“Podcasting is yet another medium that allows Black creatives to have a space where they can say what they feel and tap into audiences who can relate,” FourTwo Creative tells AfroTech. “It’s a medium that’s also a level playing field of creating one’s own platform—there are so many resources available that allow creatives to start with what they have and produce quality content.”
“We want this campaign to highlight how these Black creators found their voice and recognized that podcasting was the right medium of expression for them,” they add. “We hope their stories give a glimpse into the podcast world, into their respective journeys and the purpose behind their unique content. We ultimately hope that will motivate other potential Black creators to know it’s possible for them as well.”
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Following the launch of Frequency, Spotify wanted to drive home a message that showed how their new community goes beyond not only highlighting Black music artists, but Black podcasters, storytellers and creatives as well. The joint campaign focuses on the narratives of four podcast hosts across three different shows to offer a glimpse into how these creators got started in this space and why their shows exist in the first place.
Those participating in the campaign include:
Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley (Co-Hosts of Dope Labs Podcast)
Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins (Host of Mogul Podcast)
Reggie Williams (Co-Host of Black Film Space… which is also co-hosted by Lande Yoosuf)
Knowing that Black creators are the cultural fabric, foundation and blueprint for nearly everything popular and relevant in the digital space, this campaign demonstrates just how invaluable we are as assets to these creative industries. Black podcasters, like those highlighted in the new campaign, all have a story worth sharing. As the new leaders of the digital landscape, their paths can inspire the next generation of vocal creatives to make history as well.
“Championing Black voices is paramount because as we excel in these spaces, it’s important for us to acknowledge and document how we got there,” FourTwo Creative says. “No one will go out of their way to celebrate us until we start celebrating ourselves.”
That’s been a motto for Spotify’s Frequency initiative that’s building and expanding its global reach across international markets for Black creativity. From regional cities to countries overseas, the creator hub is hard at work making sure all up-and-coming artists and creators get their moment to shine. Most recently, the initiative launched a documentary called “Spotify’s Sunday Dinner” to help celebrate local Black music artists who are influencing and innovating their city’s sounds and style.
DMV-area artists like Rico Nasty, Anwan “Big G” Glover, Pusha T, and Ari Lennox all joined Spotify’s Black Music Editor, Domo Wells, for an in-depth discussion on the impact of music in their hometown and what’s up next for the region. Some of the artists highlighted during the sit-down dinner included people like 3ohBlack, YungManny, Shaolin, Hey Miss Kam, Baby Kahlo, YTK and more. Just speaking the names of these artists up on a global platform like Spotify is what helps some of these overlooked cities and creatives get the props they deserve.
“It only takes one person to speak your name in a room, one person to highlight your idea or one person to give you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and talents,” Sydney Lopes — Spotify’s Head of Hip Hop and R&B, Artist & Label Partnerships — tells us. “We want to be able to shine a light on all of the amazing work we see coming from the Black creator community. It definitely provides a bigger sense of purpose, increases the amount of passion we bring to the workday everyday, and allows us to celebrate our culture in a way that we don’t take for granted.”
Spotify says that it will continue to spotlight new regions and cities with large Black populations that don’t often get their flowers for cultivating and influencing our culture. And while this is a step in the right direction, there’s still a ways to go for Black creatives all over the world to get the proper platform to amplify their stories.
“While we have always supported creators in the Black community, we still have so much more work to do and Frequency is the beginning of that. So, yes, over time Frequency can be considered a catalyst for change,” Lopes says. “Younger generations are more attuned to what they expect from the brands that they love–whether it be around social identity, gender norms, and racial stereotypes.”