This last April, Reel Chicago reported that streaming music giant Spotify had teamed with creative collective Saturday Morning to launch Black History is Happening Now. It’s goal was to celebrate and amplify the voices of black artists, creators, and organizations year-round. Popular artist Janelle Monáe kicked off what they referred to as Volume One.
Monáe was the first artist to takeover the platform through playlists and featured artists who influenced her music, artists to watch for, and a short film on what Afrofuturism meant to her.
Now with the just-launched Volume Two, Spotify will continue to tell the stories of and raise topics that are important to black artists and creatives through video, podcast, and music curation.
Curating this set is Grammy-award winning artist Pharrell Williams.
Pharrell is Black History
Pharrell Williams’ “Black History Is Happening Now” hub will feature exclusive original content including videos and curated playlists. Three original videos, Pharrell is Black History, A Very Serious Force and Something Awakening, were directed by Pharrell Williams’s longtime collaborator Paul Hunter, cofounder of Prettybird.
Each video showcases Williams’s perspective on black culture, the power of black women, his beliefs on love, politics, the human condition and more. For instance, in A Very Serious Force Williams explains, “I think that what’s going to save not only this country but save the world are the Gen Z’ers, the Millennials and the women.”
Finally, in Something Awakening, Williams explains that “love never gets the attention hate does.”
A very serious force
Inspired by Pharrell Williams’s words and following in the footsteps of the Spotify’s Sound Up Bootcamp and Fellowship programs, Spotify is announcing a new initiative to support up-and-coming black female creators.
Together with the women of BLK@Spotify, Spotify will seek out three black female creatives across film, literature, and visual arts who are breaking new ground. These three women will receive funding to collaborate in creating original content to uplift the message that “black women are a very serious force.” The content will be launched early this fall.
Black History Is Happening Now will be live in the US, UK, Brazil, Mexico and Canada.
You can access the Black History Is Happening Now hub here.