News Brief
Photo: Spotify

Amaarae Curates Spotify's 'Black to the Future' Playlist + More For Black History Month

For the month of February, the music streaming giant will be celebrating Black voices, sounds, creators and culture.

Music streaming giants Spotify has announced their action plan for celebrating Black History Month in the US.

For the whole of February, they will be offering subscribers thrilling content and partnerships. Fun times filled with guest-curated playlist takeovers, new podcasts and more are to be expected. The idea is to spotlight Black culture, music and excellence.

One playlist takeover to get excited for is Black to the Future, curated by Ghanaian Afro-fusion artist Amaarae to "help capture Afrofuturism in all its wild, otherworldly musical dimensions," a press statement reads. Amaarae will also be featured on Spotify's Time Square billboard starting from today.

Other exciting playlists include Black Lives Matter from American Jazz artists Keyon Harrold Sr. and his son, Keyon Harrold Jr., I Love My HBCU from rap sensation 2Chainz, celebrating the tertiary education institutions and the homecoming anthems that are representative. Queen, a playlist from actress and personality Keke Palmer is on the list, as well as Black Love Mixtape from musicians Lucky Daye and Ari Lennox to you, celebrating Black love.

Spotify took to Instagram to share the project with a video compilation of Black content creators and musicians that already have a presence on the platform.

Find a specially curated playlist in Spotify's Black History Is Now hub.

Image supplied.

Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Interview: Made Kuti Talks Afrobeat, Activism & Family Legacy

We speak with Made about his debut album and the part he's playing in keeping the Kuti heritage alive.