Spotify Launches Frequency's Ambassador Program, Advancing the Careers of Black Artists
Since May 2021, Spotify has continued to drive its inclusivity mission through its Frequency platform. The new content hub calls for the commemoration of art and entertainment through a Black lens, fostering the culture and community of music, fashion, tech, and business globally. Recently, the global streaming platform launched the second wave of the project, called the Frequency Ambassador program. The first cohort of ambassadors includes four A-list executives and creatives. The program intends to further opportunities for burgeoning artists.
The ambassadors consist of Tommy Brown, Ariana Grande’s long-time producer and collaborator, who’s also worked with pop stars like Megan Thee Stallion, Justin Bieber, and Normani; and CEO of Six Course Inc. and Co-Founder of Proximity Media, Archie Davis, who’s responsible for overseeing soundtracks such as Judas & The Black Messiah and Space Jam: A New Legacy. The roster also includes Monique Blake, who worked extensively with hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz for almost two decades. Blake oversaw the agreement bringing VERZUZ to the stage, and Eve Fairley-Chickwe, Director of A&R at AWAL, assisted in signing the likes of Little Simz, SerpentWithFeet, and Frank Ocean collaborator Vegyn.
The global initiative is a curated collection of media showcasing Black art and highlighting established and rising artists. “Our goal is to not only champion established Black artists but also offer emerging acts a global audience to further their ascent,” Kimmy Summers, Spotify’s hip-hop and R&B manager, artist and label partnerships, tells EDITION. “The challenges that Black creatives endure are much different than their counterparts, and I think Natasha Rothwell put it best: ‘For people of color in this industry, the fear of failure is so real because we don't get that many opportunities.’ My hope is that Frequency continues to offer Black creators a platform to share their art with the world and opens endless doors of opportunity.”
Frequency hosted its first Song Shop, which took place November 8-11, 2021, at Santa Monica’s Windmark Recording. The songwriting camp was dedicated to bringing together and teaching emerging artists. “Black culture is often understood as the driving force of pop culture but is still so often overlooked or undervalued, so our main goal with Frequency is to address this disconnect in a genuine and strategic way,” adds Sydney Lopes, Spotify’s head of hip-hop and R&B, artist marketing. “This is the program’s first year and our premier focus has been on fostering more collaboration and understanding with the industry and the artists that we aspire to work with and support. This next generation of artists continues to prove how their music is genre-defying and shouldn't be limited to a specific musical profile. It’s that forward-thinking mentality that we try to emulate and apply to all of the programming and content we create.”
A $100,000 scholarship fund is in the works for next year, offering another opportunity for the next generation of artists and creators.