While New Orleans was on fire this weekend, a number of celebs and industry insiders enjoyed an intimate one-of-a-kind music experience.
Spotify hosted its “House of Are & Be” with its largest lineup to date.
As the third annual celebration of Black voices and community, Spotify hosted a full day of programming, including “The Power of Audio Storytelling” panel, an Emerging Artist Showcase, an industry brunch, and a variety of curated experiences.
“In 2019, we created our first-ever House of Are & Be experience, paying homage to women throughout the decades, and this year we’re returning to the same incredible location with even more live music, and conversations from our podcast creators,” said Sydney Lopes, Spotify’s Head of Hip-Hop and R&B, Artists and Label Partnerships about the exclusive experience. “With an even bigger lineup of rising and established talent, Spotify’s House of Are & Be continues to highlight the breadth of sounds that affect our mind, body, and spirit.”
House of Are & Be Brunch
The day kicked off with the House of Are & Be brunch, which featured the sounds of Mereba performing her hit songs “Sandstorm” and “Black Truck,” while SiR closed out the afternoon with sounds from his new album, including “Satisfaction” and breakout hit “D’Evils.”
“I’m excited for my first experience at Spotify’s House of Are & Be,” said SiR about the experience. “Being a part of this incredible weekend in New Orleans means so much and I’m looking forward to performing a couple of new songs off my album with TDE.”
The crowd included Issa Rae, content creator Elsa Majimbo and rapper/actress KaMillion singing along, front and center.
The Power of Audio Storytelling Panel
The day continued with The Power of Audio Storytelling moderated by Rachel Lindsay, host of Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay, a Spotify Original from The Ringer; and featured Danyel Smith, host of Black Girl Songbook, a Spotify Original from The Ringer; Lovelyti, host of Tea Time UNFILTERED with Lovelyti; and Drs. Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley, hosts of the Spotify Original Dope Labs podcast, sharing their personal experiences as Black creators.
“I always knew I wanted to do something where I was talking or communicating with people, but I had no idea what podcasting would do for me,” said Rachel Lindsay during the Power of Audio Storytelling panel.
“It is the most fulfilling experience that I have ever had and I’m sure you feel the same way when it comes to being in this entertainment space because it’s very freeing. I don’t feel beholden to a network. There are no commercials or anything we get to produce our own content and say what’s on our mind and we can connect with our audience, and it’s such a beautiful thing.”
Panelist Danyel Smith also spoke on the importance of telling the stories of Black women;
“I don’t think it’s my show’s job to talk about Black women in terms of being firsts,” said Smith. “I feel like so often our history, I hesitate to use the word reduced, but sometimes we just get reduced to the idea that she was the first person to do this she was the first Black woman to do this and all that is important, but I just think the work of Black Girl Songbook is to be about the details and when I think of details I don’t want to talk about Black women’s lives or one Black woman’s life in summary, I want to talk about it in detail.”
Spotify House of Are & Be Emerging Artist Showcase
Later that evening, celebrity guests who stopped by to support the Emerging Artist Showcase included Ashanti, Jacquees, Lucky Daye, and actors Jacob Latimore and Kofi.
Giveon, who kicked off the night, took to the stage with his breakthrough hit “Like I Want You” and newly released single “Lie Again,” followed by Phabo, who performed “LNF” alongside other yet-to-be-released music. Other artists from the showcase included Ambre, who sang some tracks off her latest album, “3000°,” while Kenyon Dixon also debuted new music, including “Love on Replay” and a surprise duet with rising artist Jade.
Kenyon later posted alongside SiR and Jade.
Lastly, Alex Isley closed out the night with a standing ovation performing hits such as “Good & Plenty” and “Into Orbit.” BOSSIP was on hand and witnessed Alex Isley’s breathtaking performance first-hand that included her encouraging the crowd to sing along to her ethereal tune “Mine.”
Have YOU heard of Spotify’s House Of Are & Be?
Who would YOU like to see perform there next?