In honor of Black History Month, Apple Music has launched a highly curated editorial music experience across Apple Music, Apple Music radio and Apple Music TV, celebrating the incredible community of black artists, moments and movements that have shaped music and global pop culture for generations.
All month long, Apple Music will feature curated playlists, essays, original videos, radio shows, and more from black influencers, musicians, authors, and directors including Ava DuVernay, Tracee Ellis Ross, Monica, Dame Pat McGrath (DBE, Founder/CEO Pat McGrath Labs), John Legend, Erykah Badu, Naomi Campbell, Common, Jaden Smith and many more. Apple Music TV will have four 24 hour music video takeovers featuring artists like Beyonce, Janet Jackson, Pharrell Williams and H.E.R., among others.
Apple Music radio will air brand new shows across Apple Music 1, Apple Music Hits and Apple Music Country, featuring everything from artist interviews and curator round tables to special music mixes and full station takeovers, all celebrating Black History. Ebro Darden, Apple Music’s Global Head of Hip-Hop and R&B, sits down with The Internet’s Syd, Durand Bernarr, and others for The Message, a new series of interviews and playlists that air during The Ebro Show, spotlighting the most important Black voices of today.
“We’ve been exploring new ways that we can use Apple Music to elevate and amplify black voices – not just in music but across all industries -because Black history IS American history, Black culture IS pop culture as it touches and influences everything,” Ebro said. “What we are doing this month, all of the original content and the incredible and inspiring people we are working with, it’s helping to shape a narrative and share stories about Black life that are not often told on mainstream platforms. Its something that the team and I have been dedicated to since day one and we have not let up since.”
Apple Music’s expansive tribute revolves around the central theme of “Black Family.” A true diaspora of cultures and blood lines, the “Black Family” can be made up of relatives near and far, friends, community members, and other chosen loved ones and is not defined by genealogy. Its bond is created and reinforced through collective experiences, love, and culture.
Each week Apple Music will explore a different theme beginning today with the role of the “Matriarch” and the strength and leadership of black women. Additional themes include the importance of “Chosen Family,” creating more sustainable futures and taking care of mind, body and spirit through “Nourishment and Resilience” and a look ahead focusing on “Future Generations.”
Pat McGrath: “Matriarchs” Black History Month Playlist on Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/pl.a2f167c412c44375adbd8db8bef6bc31
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Monica: “Matriarchs” Black History Month Playlist on Apple Music:https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/pl.fe011895449e418bbaf9c718c50c0215
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Apple Music has enlisted the talents of influential black authors including Clover Hope (author of “The Motherlode,” an illustrated celebration of women in hip-hop), Saeed Jones (former Buzzfeed Culture editor and author of the award winning memoir “How We Fight For Our Lives”), Kenyon Farrow (co-executive director of Partners for Dignity & Rights, a national organization that works to guarantee universal rights for people across the United States), and Derecka Purnell (renowned human rights lawyer, organizer and published writer as featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Slate, Huffington Post) who will pen original essays dedicated to these stories and provide exclusive companion playlists.
Throughout the month, Apple Music will also premiere a series of original shorts that celebrate the impact of the “Black Family” through the lens of these different creative themes, beginning today with “Matriarchs.” Shot by four incredible up-and-coming Black directors alongside Clio- award winning creative director Rohan Blair-Mangat, these films represent powerful story-telling combined with a distinctive cinematic sensibility:
“Matriarchs” directed by India Sleem illustrates and explores the role and notions of the matriarch through time. Literal and symbolic this is a journey from past to present to discover how and where Black women are taking lead and honoring those contributions. Sleem is a director and photographer based in New York. Heavily inspired by old music videos from icons like Janet Jackson, M.I.A, Grace Jones, her work is her work is human-centric, and highly emotive with a keen focus on color, composition, and culture.
“Chosen Family” directed by Jean Estene explores the importance of relationships, acceptance and identity within the LGBTQ community as it continues to evoke change and influence culture around the world and push forward narratives of representation, identity and diversity. Estene is an actress, writer and artist born and based in Los Angeles. She is a published author of two books and is currently writing, directing and acting in her own content.
“Nourishment and Resilience” directed by Sean Frank elevates black voices discussing mental health issues and encouraging healthy living and self care for the mind, body and spirit.
Frank is a London born, New-York based artist and filmmaker. He has worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Phillip Lim, Converse, American Vogue, Dazed & Confused and Universal and was recently announced as one of Uniqlo’s new cultural ambassadors. In addition to his campaign work, Sean is the contributing video editor for LOVE Magazine.
“Future Generations” directed by Abdi Ibrahim honors the past by looking to the future through the lens of youth movements and the powerful young voices that are impacting the culture. History is being made every day and it is through these powerful voices that future generations are being shaped. Ibrahim is a 24 year old Somali-American photographer and director, the son of immigrants. His work is heavily inspired by Harley Weir, Robert Adams, and Venetia Scott with his own style that is both documentary and conceptual.
Apple Music commissioned original artwork from Portland, OR based collage artist Rob Lewis (art director at Kamp Grizzly) to visually tell a story that weaves together the narrative and the content with the culture it represents.
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