Today, Pandora announced the official launch of its new station, which fuses R&B and Afrobeats, ‘Soul & Ginger’. The station will provide listeners with a culturally curated experience merging sounds from artists like Tems, Chris Brown, Wizkid, and more.
Inspired by R&B/Soul and “ginger”—commonly used to describe the sweetness—coming out of West Africa, ‘Soul & Ginger’ celebrates the popularity of the Afrobeats genre and tracks its influence on R&B music. The station will feature a balanced mix of sounds from those palettes, as well as the newest releases within the Afro-R&B fusion space.
“This fusion between Afrobeats and R&B is long overdue,” says Akim Bryant, Pandora’s Head of R&B Programming.
“Over the past few years, we have witnessed a musical cross-pollination between African artists and contemporary R&B artists in the US thanks to the likes of Wizkid, Chris Brown, Tems, Masego, and many more. It’s not simply a trend; this phenomenon is a reflection of Black culture that transcends both genre and geography and isn’t going away anytime soon.”
“This is an exciting time for artists coming out of Africa, and the rest of the world stands to benefit,” says Juan Gomez, Pandora’s Senior African Music Programmer.
“As social media and the internet continue to bring us all closer together, African artists finally have an opportunity to firmly take a seat at the global pop music table, bringing with them a slew of new sounds and influences, while simultaneously furthering the musical conversation between Africa and the West.”
To celebrate the launch of the new station, Pandora will host an hour-long virtual event in collaboration with OkayAfrica and Okayplayer via Twitter Spaces to discuss the sub-genre and its impact on today’s music scene on October 25. Hosted by Akim Bryant and Juan Gomez from Pandora, and Kia Turner from Okayplayer, the event will feature guest speakers including OkayAfrica’s Zee Ngema, Masego, and CKay. Listeners can expect a lively discussion about how Afrobeats is shifting the R&B genre and vice versa.