Janelle Monae to curate Spotify’s creative hub celebrating black artists


Janelle Monae has been tapped by Spotify to curate a hub featuring music celebrating black artists.

Bosses at the music streaming service are launching Black History Is Happening Now, a new campaign showcasing black creatives and organizations campaigning for greater diversity and social change.

A different artist will take charge of the hub each month, with Janelle the first to control the playlists, conversations and other media users will be able to access.

“I am thrilled to be teaming up with Spotify to help kick off an important new initiative celebrating black history and culture through Black History is Happening Now,” the Tightrope singer said in a press release. “I’ve always been excited and inspired to try to redefine how we’re seen. It’s important to me to celebrate black history year round and with Spotify’s commitment to honoring the black community all year long and showcasing artists and organizations who are dedicated to imparting change.”

As curator, the 32-year-old musician and actress has shared a documentary on Afrofuturism, a philosophy of culture and history that explores the development of African and African-American culture alongside technology.

Janelle explained that she thought the new platform was the “perfect” place to share the film, which she made in collaboration with writer and director Ytasha L. Womack.

Spotify chiefs are also offering 10 aspiring female podcasters of color the chance to join a bootcamp with veteran radio professionals Rekha Murthy and Graham Griffith, as well as an entry level position on their editorial team to a young person who is passionate about black history and culture.