Today, Pandora declared the introduction of “Soul & Ginger,” a brand-new station that combines R&B with Afrobeats. Listeners may expect a culturally crafted experience from the station that combines music from Tems, Chris Brown, Wizkid, and other musicians.
The song “Soul & Ginger” celebrates the success of the Afrobeats genre and charts how it influenced R&B music. “Ginger” is a term used to describe the sweetness in R&B/Soul that originated in West Africa. The station will play a well-balanced selection of music from those stylistic ranges as well as the most recent albums in the Afro-R&B fusion genre.
“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.”
On October 25, Pandora will collaborate with OkayAfrica and Okayplayer to organize an hour-long virtual event via Twitter Spaces to debate the subgenre and its influence on the current music landscape as a way of celebrating the debut of the new station. Zee Ngema, Masego, and CKay of OkayAfrica will be among the special guests speaking at the event, which will be hosted by Akim Bryant, Juan Gomez, and Kia Turner from Okayplayer and Okayplayer and Pandora. Expect a vigorous conversation about how Afrobeats is changing the R&B genre and vice versa from your listeners.