Pandora has announced plans to introduce a new series of Latinx music stations dedicated to music by Black artists from various parts of Latin America. The first station in the series is Afro Colombia Radio, which premiered on Monday. Now, subcribers across the nation, and around the globe can indulge in the best of Champeta, Cumbia, Vallenato, Latin Trap, Afro-funk, and more.
“These new stations represent our effort to highlight and celebrate [the] infinite contributions made to contemporary Latin music by the African diaspora in the Americas,” Marcos Juarez, Head of Latin Music at Pandora, says. “Afro influence is the foundation, inspiration and innovation behind almost every popular Latin music genre. From salsa and cumbia to merengue and reggaeton, Africa is fundamental to the melodic and rhythmic DNA of these iconic genres enjoyed the world over.”
Next up will be Afro Boricua Radio, scheduled to launch on August 11 and set to cover Puerto Rican genres like Plena and Bomba. Expect Afro Cuba and Afro Quisqueya to go live in September, two stations that will highlight the Afro-originated music from Cuba and the Dominican Republic, respectively. There are plans to expand the series to more and more territories, like Venezuela, Panama, Peru, Honduras, and more.
“The content will range from classic to contemporary, with the goal of showing that Afro Latin music is not static and remains ever evolving, dynamic and inspiring. Latin music is African music,” says Juarez, who points out that this is the first time Pandora goes beyond on-platform genre-specific programming and shares a holistic view to tell a larger story. “Some of this content is well known and some is obscure. The hope is to present a wide musical overview.”
As an Afro-Latina, this feels like our diaspora has finally arrived and is marking it’s presence in the American music market. What many have yet to understand is that the Black diaspora is vast, rich, and very complex. Everything from Afro-Latinx culture, religion, cuisine, and music is more relevant in American society than ever before. As our presence grows, so does our visibility with markets across the board and strides such as that of Pandora and their new Afro-Latinx series are imperative towards our advancement.
Pandora’s Afro Colombia Radio is live now, tune in here!