'It's part of artists' journeys': Spotify execs praise Who We Be Talks impact

'It's part of artists' journeys': Spotify execs praise Who We Be Talks impact

Spotify’s Safiya Lambie-Knight has told Music Week that the Who We Be Talks podcast makes “complete sense” for record labels as a promotional tool.

Lambie-Knight is lead, urban in Spotify’s artist and label marketing team, and features alongside DJ Semtex and Ms Banks in this week’s cover story, which leads a podcasts special edition.

“From the labels’ perspective, offering artists who have something to say a platform to do so is obviously a positive thing,” said Lambie-Knight. “For those artists who have a release to tie in, it makes complete sense to make a unique audio experience.”

Along with Ms Banks, a range of artists including Dave, AJ Tracey, Lethal Bizzle, Stefflon Don and Craig David have appeared on the podcast.

“It’s allowing an opportunity for artists to talk about their music in more detail,” Lambie-Knight added. “If you look at the artists that have been on this year, from AJ Tracey, to Devlin, to Steel Banglez, they’ve all had really significant stories and the podcast just allows for another layer of serious conversation. Artists can tell their stories in their own way.”

It’s an opportunity for artists to talk about their music in more detail

Safiya Lambie-Knight

Lambie-Knight, a key executive behind Spotify’s Who We Be brand in light of the imminent departure of Austin Daboh, said the podcast ties into its playlist live events too, creating momentum for artists.

“Some really interesting stories have come out of it. NSG launched Options [feat. Tion Wayne, 520,750 sales, according to the Official Charts Company] off the back of performing last year and have had success with it,” she told Music Week.

“It’s becoming part of the artists’ journeys and is growing fanbases. We’re looking at how we can tie the narrative between live, playlist and podcasts together better and grow it.”

The playlist currently has 513,531 followers.

James Cator, head of podcasts, EMEA at Spotify, addressed potential industry concerns that time spent listening to the podcast means less time streaming music.

“We’re speaking more and more to labels about their podcasting ambitions,” he said. “There are some amazing ideas out there and I can’t wait to see them grow.”

“Semtex was so clearly the obvious choice as host, he’s an industry legend,” he added.

Cator said the reason Who We Be Talks “has taken off” is because, “you don’t get this opportunity to have an in-depth interview with an artist [elsewhere].”

“Being able to tell a story with nuance over an hour is quite a rare opportunity nowadays. The fans and artists have responded,” he said.

Subscribers can read the full interview here. To subscribe and never miss a music biz story, click here

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