In blessing this past month, Spotify has introduced Afro Hub as part of its Global Cultures Initiative project. The Global Cultures Initiative features a number of curated playlists currently including the Desi and Latinx Hubs, and now, Afro Hub. Unfortunately, Spotify is not the first to represent the African artists on a major scale with Apple Music already featuring multiple playlists like “The A-List” for African music on their platform. Spotify, however, can be forgiven for their delay, as this new addition serves as the best apology to Spotify listeners.
Many Nigerian artists like Davido, D’banj, YCEE, and beyond have already been recognized on an international basis. However, Spotify now officially serves a platform allowing us to recognize their talents all at once. The Library consists of classic and contemporary artists from features of the late Fela Kuti to Mr. Eazi. Among the top featured playlists in the Afro genre are currently artists like Burna Boy and WizKid. Both artists have announced their spotlight features with Burna Boy sharing his takeover, appropriately titled “We Everywhere” on Nigerian Independence Day followed by WizKid posting his takeover “African Heat” just a few days later on social media. “African Heat” brings WizKid fans all the way back from “Pakurumo” to his more recent tracks like, “Master Groove,” providing listeners with the perfect balance between the new age Starboy and his older nostalgic tracks.
Best of all, Spotify has successfully represented the African diaspora not only by categorizing the library by each region, but also by featuring African artists living outside of the continent. The “No Wahala” playlist features some Grime artists like Not3s known for his single, “My Lover,” which charted in the United Kingdom. The playlist even features Harlem-born, Senegalese artist, Sheck Wes’ track “Mo Bamba”. Each of the playlists also includes collaborations between African artists and notable features such as Drake, Dua Lipa, and Major Lazer. The assorted playlist truly suits the boundless quality of African music as a whole.
Additionally, the library has been segmented into its Top Diaspora, Moods & Moments, and Influential African Artists & Composers sections. Among these sections, Moods & Moments best meets all the demands of Spotify listeners. Moods & Moments contains its “Redeemed,” “Muslim Vibes,” “Afroboogie,” “Afro Party Anthems,” “Sunday Feels,” “Carnival,” and “Segue O Baile” playlists. Spotify is encouraging you to enhance your Saturday night with “Afro Party Anthems” then begin Sunday morning with the “Redeemed” playlist. Spotify has successfully cultivated a series of anthems for each day of the week.
Beyond music, Spotify has also included popular podcasts. “Jesus and Jollof” is among the selection of podcasts with the most relatable and comedic hosts, Yvonne Orji and Luvvie Ajayi. Spotify’s efforts to further globalize its content is definitely one to be commended, as it has undoubtedly surpassed its excellence with its new Afro Hub feature.