Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Talk That Talk Winners Koku and Mariah Dish on Their New Podcast, Pitching at CultureCon, and the Hottest African Music Trends

15/12/2023

In October, Spotify was front and center at CultureCon New York, a weekend-long event that made space for creators of color to talk, hang, and network. Along with hosting the official CultureCon playlist, Spotify's Creator Equity Fund showcased its commitment to diverse creators by cohosting CultureCon's inaugural Talk That Talk podcast pitch contest, offering the winner the chance to record their pilot episode at Spotify Studios in Brooklyn, NY, as well as mentorship from a producer for the first episode.

Talk That Talk's finalists pitched their ideas to a live CultureCon audience, and afterwards our panel of judges selected the winner: Ghanaian creators Koku and Mariah. Their show, In The Mix, looks at the rise of Afrobeats as a global phenomenon while examining the ways it has influenced-and been influenced by-the rest of the African music landscape.

And after months of hard work, we're thrilled to announce that the first episode of In The Mix is ready for the world to stream.

For the Record sat down with the duo before the launch of In The Mix to talk about the experience, their aspirations for the series, and the trends in African music that excite them most.

What was it like to record the first episode of In The Mix at Spotify Studios? Mariah: It was very cool. I've never really been in the studio before. So having the camera, the mics-I was feeling pretty important. But it was a little nerve-wracking in terms of making sure that I asked the right questions, stuck to our narrative, and made the best use of our opportunity. This is a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing and we're very grateful.

Koku: I'd also say this was much, much different than recording in my home. I can be in my own room, no one is there, and it's not as big of a deal if I make a mistake. So there was a bit of pressure at the beginning, but after the first five minutes, it was great and it just felt like a conversation.

Was there a single a-ha moment that inspired In The Mix, or was this an idea that you'd been mulling over for a while? Mariah: This has definitely been years in the making. Koku has another podcast where he talks about soccer with his friends, and that inspired me. I was like, Oh it would be fun to start a podcast. We just were never able to find the time-our schedules were crazy back then. So when I saw the pitch competition on the CultureCon page, it felt like the stars were aligning. We decided to submit a pitch at the last minute. And when we were chosen as finalists, it was like, Okay, this is something that the universe and God is telling us that we have to do.

What fresh perspectives do you want to bring to podcasting with your show? Koku: I don't think there are too many podcasts dissecting African music or trying to do it in the manner that we are. Most African music history has been word-of-mouth-almost like folktales. And the cool thing about podcasting is that you can record those sorts of conversations and they live online for years to come. It's time for us to own that narrative, and we hope that African artists will come to In The Mix to have those conversations.

Mariah: We really want In The Mix to be research based and [to] share actual knowledge about our continent and country. But we also want it to be fun. We're really interested in pushing our culture to the world. We want to get to the point where we're owning our narrative and owning our culture.

On that point-owning your culture-what do you believe the world is missing right now? Mariah: Just the variety coming out of Africa-the different sounds and languages coming from different countries. So I would really like people to sort of go out of their comfort zone and just try something new. You see that with Ghanaian musicians, for example. There's so much that we've influenced but can't even claim because it got out of our hands.

I also think there are a lot of African R&B artists who can't even claim they're R&B. Like Tems is an R&B artist.

Koku: That's like our main pet peeve right now. Afrobeats has become this singular genre, and that's why we want to break down the components of it. To help people understand where the sound comes from.

I want to hear more R&B from African artists. It seems like everyone feels like they have to make dancier songs, but I want to hear some soul. I want to hear people singing. But I'm biased because I love soul and R&B in general.

Are there any lesser-known genres or artists that people should be paying attention to? Mariah: In terms of genres, definitely Asakaa, which is like Ghanaian drill. Super, super good. I don't even know how to describe it, but if you listen to the music, you can just feel the passion; you can feel the streets coming from these rappers.

Also, Alt , which is African alternative music. I think it's a really powerful genre-basically an African take on R&B and pop, but a little weirder.

And then some artists people should check out include Alt artists like Odunsi (The Engine) and Maison2500, and Asakaa artists like Jay Bahd and O'Kenneth. We also love AmaaRae and Simi, who have already blown up.

Turning back to your show, are there podcasts that you looked to for inspiration? Koku: One podcast I did take note of was Watching The Throne. It's just two guys that dive into Kanye West's discography, and what makes it so good is the amount of research they did and the background knowledge they provide.

Mariah: I also listened to Mogul, which gets into the backstories of how hip-hop artists came to be who they are. There's also a video series by Nigerian media collective Sample Chief that breaks down the history of African music samples and how a lot of the newer songs that are hot right now are inspired by older songs.

After you listen to the
LINK: https://newsroom.spotify.com/2023-12-15/talk-that-talk-winners-koku-an...
See more stories from spotify

Most recent headlines

04/08/2024

Dalet Appoints Santiago Solanas as CEO to Lead Next Era of Growth and Innovation

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, is excited to announce Santiago Solanas as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)....

03/06/2024

Dalet and Veritone Reach Agreement to Distribute, Transact and Monetize Media Archives

Dalet, a leading technology and service provider for media-rich organizations, a...

28/05/2024

AI-backbone for FCAS operational

AI-backbone for FCAS operational The HIS consortium and partners provide BAAINBw and industry with a cross-sectional AI development platform for FCAS (AI-back...

27/05/2024

Experience inspiration. Master challenges. With SIGRAFLEX and SIGRAFINE at ACHEMA 2024

It will soon be that time again: ACHEMA, the worlds most important trade show fo...

27/05/2024

How L3Harris Evolved into Canada's Trusted Tanker Aircraft In-Service Support Provider

L3Harris has been maintaining Canada's CC-150 Polaris fleet for over a decad...

27/05/2024

Tech Lifestyle Influencer Shelby Church Uses Blackmagic Cloud Storage with DaVinci Resolve Studio

Tech Lifestyle Influencer Shelby Church Uses Blackmagic Cloud Storage with DaVin...

27/05/2024

Bridge Technologies Introduce StreamOverview to the VB330

Bridge Technologies Introduce StreamOverview to the VB330 Brie Clayton May 27, 2024 0 Comments Single page diagnostics overview gives first-line engin...

27/05/2024

Intelligent Video Effects from Film Impact

Intelligent Video Effects from Film Impact Colin Smith May 27, 2024 0 Comments Take an incredible trip though the many unbelievable transitions from F...

27/05/2024

Midwest Regional Broadcasters Clinic Announces Agenda

The Midwest Regional Broadcasters Clinic (MRBC) announced its agenda for the clinic being held Tuesday, Sept. 10, and Wednesday, Sept. 11, in Middleton, Wis....

27/05/2024

Live From NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship: ESPN Travels Down I-95 to Familiar Lincoln Financial Field

Live From NCAA Men's Lacrosse National Championship: ESPN Travels Down I-95 ...

27/05/2024

Rohde & Schwarz presents its solutions for next generation wide bandgap device test and debug at PCIM Europe

Rohde & Schwarz presents its solutions for next generation wide bandgap device t...

27/05/2024

Hierarchy' Trailer Teases a Dark Scandal and Social Upheaval at Jooshin High School

Back to All News Hierarchy' Trailer Teases a Dark Scandal and Social Uphea...

27/05/2024

SKY Perfect JSAT selects Thales Alenia Space to build a new cutting-edge software-defined satellite JSAT-31

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tokyo / Cannes, May 27th 2024 - Asia's large...

26/05/2024

Vizrt to showcase state-of-the-art proAV solutions at Inf...

Vizrt, the leader in real-time graphics and live production solutions for content creators, will be present at InfoComm for the first time since unifying with N...

26/05/2024

Alfredo Valdes Named Noticiero Telemundo Arizona' Meteorologist

Alfredo Valdes has been named meteorologist for Noticiero Telemundo Arizona weekday morning newscasts, which run on KTAZ Phoenix and KHRR Tucson. Both stations ...

26/05/2024

Paramount, Charter Reach Carriage Deal That Includes Linear Networks, TV Stations and Streaming Services

Paramount Global and Charter Communications said they reached a new carriage agr...

26/05/2024

Daytime Emmys To Again Be Hosted by ET's Kevin Frazier, Nischelle Turner

Entertainment Tonight's Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner are returning to host the 51st annual Daytime Emmys, CBS and the National Academy of Television A...

25/05/2024

Get to Know This Summer's Filmmakers Through These 12 Sundance Films

(L-R) Writer-director Hannah Pearl Utt and co-writer Jen Tullock star as sisters in Before You Know It, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival....

25/05/2024

Study: Digital Media Ad Spend Grew 18% in Q1 24

NEW YORK A new study from Guideline indicates that In Q1 2024, large US advertisers expanded their overall ad spend by 7% compared to the year prior and that di...

25/05/2024

Accedo Helps ITV Expand ITVX to Sony PlayStation 4 and 5

STOCKHOLM Global video solutions provider, Accedo has announced that it worked with ITV in the U.S. to expand the reach of the broadcasters streaming service, I...

25/05/2024

Broadband Forum Celebrates 20th Anniversary of TR-069 Standard

Broadband Forum has announced that it is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its groundbreaking TR-069 standard that has paved the way for the open standards...

25/05/2024

TV Tech Weekly Tech Wrap-Up

Missed any of our coverage of new products, services and deployments during your busy week? The TV Tech weekly wrap-up provides links to all of our product cove...

25/05/2024

HBO Original Series 30 Coins Season Two Finished with DaVinci Resolve Studio

HBO Original Series 30 Coins Season Two Finished with DaVinci Resolve Studio Brie Clayton May 24, 2024 0 Comments Blackmagic Design announced today th...

25/05/2024

VideoProc Converter AI: Your Answer to Video Format Challenges and Quality Enhancement

VideoProc Converter AI: Your Answer to Video Format Challenges and Quality Enhan...

24/05/2024

The Hives Celebrate 50 Years of Sweden's Global Music Success With Spotify Singles Cover

On April 6, 1974, the Swedish pop quartet ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest w...

24/05/2024

The U.K. Holds Firm in the Fight for Fair Competition With the DMCC Act, But It's Not Over Yet

For more than a year, the U.K. government has been working to redefine how the i...

24/05/2024

Alone Australia continues to build as it moves towards finale

Alone Australia continues to build as it moves towards finale 23 May, 2024 Media releases The program continues to deliver for SBS with significant uplifts...

24/05/2024

EditShare Introduces Expanded Product Line-Up at BroadcastAsia

EditShare Introduces Expanded Product Line-Up at BroadcastAsia Transforming innovations in workflow, server and delivery from storyboard to screen Boston, MA...

24/05/2024

ZEISS CinCraft Scenario Camera Tracking Now Compatible wi...

Scenario 2.0 introduces pre-calibrated lens templates and the Lens Template Finetuner, increasing flexibility and compability while also saving a great amount o...

24/05/2024

Chyron Unlocks a Complete Newsroom in the Cloud With News...

Based on a long-term, coordinated development effort, Chyron today announced sweeping improvements across its news workflow portfolio that empower broadcasters ...

24/05/2024

Cobalt Expands its Reach into the AV Market with Plans to...

Cobalt Digital, known for its vast array of signal processing products, is strengthening its position in the Pro AV market by exhibiting at InfoComm 2024 for th...

24/05/2024

IHSE USA Earns Coveted Awards at the 2024 NAB Show

HSE USA today announced that the company s JPEG-XS IP Core for KVM and kvm-tec Scalable Pro Line 5K were honored with three awards at this year's NAB Show i...

24/05/2024

Aputure Gears Up for the 2024 Cine Gear Expo

Aputure, creators of LED lighting for filmmakers, is excited to showcase its award-winning lineup of professional lighting solutions at the upcoming Cine Gear E...

24/05/2024

EVERTZAV JOINS GPA GLOBAL PARTNER PROGRAM

EvertzAV (https://av.evertz.com), a division of Evertz, the global leader in providing professional A/V over IP solutions, is proud to announce its partnership ...

24/05/2024

Metropolis Studios Upgrades To Prism Sound Dream ADA-128...

With 25 Prism Sound ADA-8XR multichannel converters already in use across its five studios, the internationally acclaimed Metropolis Studios in London is no str...

24/05/2024

Leader Expands LVB440 IP Analyzer with New Measurement To...

Leader Electronics Corporation, globally active innovator of broadcast-quality test and measurement instrumentation, announces an expansion to the capabilities ...

24/05/2024

Digital Alert Systems and Inovonics Partner on Joint Solu...

Digital Alert Systems, the global leader in emergency communications solutions for video services providers, and broadcast equipment provider Inovonics today an...

24/05/2024

Time in Pixels Updates OmniScope with New Twin Peaks Scope for Professional Colorists and DITs

Time in Pixels Updates OmniScope with New Twin Peaks Scope for Professional Co...

24/05/2024

ZEISS CinCraft Scenario Camera Tracking Now Compatible with Most Popular Lens Brands

ZEISS CinCraft Scenario Camera Tracking Now Compatible with Most Popular Lens Br...

24/05/2024

Inaugural Gnome Opener in Greenville TONIGHT

Tonight's the night! The Greenville Yard Gnomes open their inaugural home season at Guy Smith Stadium! Join the Gnomes for all the fun and excitement of t...

24/05/2024

Boston Conservatory Plays a Leading Role at the 41st Annual Elliot Norton Awards

Boston Conservatory Plays a Leading Role at the 41st Annual Elliot Norton Awards With six wins and eight additional nominations, the Conservatory's theate...

24/05/2024

UK's Media Bill heads towards Royal Assent

An amendment to the Bill includes retaining the Reithian principles of public service broadcast, ensuring PSBs continue to inform, educate and entertain By Jen...

24/05/2024

BCE appoints Sylvain Merle as CTO

Merle joins BCE following a 30 year career including roles at Orange/Globecast and beIN Media Group By Matthew Corrigan Published: May 24, 2024 Merle join...

24/05/2024

FCC Chair Rosenworcel Proposes FCC Require Disclosure of AI Content in Political Ads

WASHINGTON, D.C. As concerns grow about the potential impact of fake AI-generate...

24/05/2024

Robin Davis Named Senior VP, Chief Distribution Officer for Scripps

CINCINNATI The E.W. Scripps Company has named Robin Davis as its senior vice president, chief distribution officer....

24/05/2024

Nilesat Chooses PlayBox Neo Solutions for Major Service Expansion

CAIRO, Egypt PlayBox Neo has announced that it is providing technologies for the expansion of the broadcast channel management and playout infrastructure at the...

24/05/2024

FCC's Carr Opposes Effort to Require Disclosure of AI-Content in Political Ads

WASHINGTON, D.C. FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr has come out against a proposal b...

24/05/2024

FCC Commissioner Simington Announces Staff Changes

WASHINGTON, D.C. Federal Communications Commission commissioner Nathan Simington has announced several staff changes with one departure from his office, one new...

24/05/2024

The Increasingly Important Role of IPTV in College & University Sports Venues

The Increasingly Important Role of IPTV in College & University Sports Venues Andy Wagner May 23, 2024 0 Comments According to Nielsen data, college b...

24/05/2024

Disguise Launches New Generation of EX Media Servers to Power the Future of Entertainment

Disguise Launches New Generation of EX Media Servers to Power the Future of Ente...