Last weekend, those with access to the Spotify app noticed several new additions to the “Genres & Moods” category. The most surprising? “Afro Hub” which has over the past few days been shortened to simply “Afro.” Within the Afro Section, there is a plethora of playlists that satisfy the entire continent’s and the Diaspora’s needs.
The popular Afrobeats playlist, “African Heat” joins playlists such as “We Everywhere” Burna Boy Takeover and “Oya Dance” Dj Maphorisa Takeover in the overall category of Top Afro. Other categories are divided by regions – west, east, central, and south. There is also a section for podcasts such as Jesus and Jollof, Young African Entrepreneur, and No Wahala with Tune Day + Bawo – just to name a few.
The Top diaspora category is limited to Afro-Latin, Haitian Kompa, Dancehall, and Brazilian samba for now, for good reason though. These Afro genres are rarely heard outside of the ethnic groups that created them, unlike Hip Hop’s global success.
Spotify’s decision to create the Afro genre falls in line with their vision for “Global Cultures”:
This much-anticipated hub celebrates and honors the African culture as well as it’s widely known and loved music. It’s our mission to uncover every layer of this ancient, expressive and rhythmic musical culture which is an important component of today’s mainstream, modern music. Comprised by a variety of different styles, African music has influenced genres in the U.S. and abroad for centuries.
To have multiple Black-centric genres on the Spotify app should be great news, and it is for those of us in the Diaspora, but what about those of us on the continent? Spotify is only available in South Africa as of March of this year. With the launch of the Afro genre, it is only fair that the company begins looking seriously into establishing offices on the continent, so as not to only disperse our music but to cultivate the homegrown talent as well.