Beats 1 Radio Host Ebro Darden Talks Apple Music in New Interview

by

Beats 1 host Ebro Darden, who has just been promoted to Apple Music's global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B, recently sat down for an interview with Complex, where he shared some thoughts on his new role, the future of Apple Music, and more.

Darden says he'll be overseeing the "strategy and direction" of all things related to hip-hop and R&B worldwide, making sure that Apple Music is "focused, directed and organized" on the "right sounds" and that it's supporting the "right artists."


Part of that will involve finding music from around the globe, given the "global" in Darden's title. Darden says that he views himself as an advocate for hip-hop and the culture of it, with a focus on locating the next superstars and helping artists.

I'm just going to be looking at the heat map and to see where people are engaging with the platform, where we see potential for growth opportunities, and digging in. Hip-hop and R&B is a global phenomenon unlike any music we've ever seen before. It's going to be really about looking at where the music's being made and finding great music.

Darden shares the same philosophy as many other Apple Music executives, suggesting that a human touch is key when highlighting music content. Humans, says Darden, "have the ability to not only make people connect better, but also give context better."

At Apple Music and Beats 1, the aim is to "merge those concepts." Apple Music offers algorithmic radio stations with playlists tailored to moods or sounds, but it also has Beats 1, a live radio station with mixes from DJs and content like music videos, interviews, and more.

To stay relevant, Darden believes streaming services need to be more consistent over an extended period of time, with Apple Music having an edge over competitors because of its focus on human curation and its efforts to refine the service over time.

That's why we have the human capabilities that we have at Apple Music. It helps us have living, breathing people interfacing with the consumers so that we stay relevant. We have the data, we have the behavior, we have the consumer, we have the humans curating shows, pulling that all into one place. Being able to evolve in real time with the audience as much as you can is how you stay relevant.

Darden was questioned about Spotify's move to allow trusted artists to upload directly to the service, and he says Apple has no plan to implement something at the current time, but that "if there's demand for it," Apple could potentially "make the pivot." Right now, though, Apple Music is just aiming to be the "best service provider" possible for people who are using streaming services.

Darden's full interview on Apple Music, hip-hop, and other topics can be read over at Complex.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
24 months ago
"...and that it's supporting the 'right artists.'"

So it's about virtue signaling and making sure the 'right artists' get airtime. This company so lost.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
Apple Music already tries so hard to push hip hop/r&b and it is incredibly annoying
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago
Hip-hop and R&B is a global phenomenon, but only because it's "chosen" by majority vote doesn't automatically make it good music. I am sad about the state of Apple Music and their focus on these two genres, which are already everywhere, especially given the wonderful music from other genres we could enjoy and many other people could enjoy who are probably only listening to Hip-hop and R&B because it's a "global phenomenon" and they don't get the chance to experience something else.

No hate on Hip-hop and R&B fans of course. But everybody would agree that such monocultures aren't exactly a thriving spot for a diverse taste in music.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
24 months ago

"...and that it's supporting the 'right artists.'"

So it's about virtue signaling and making sure the 'right artists' get airtime. This company so lost.

I also interpreted the article as something similar:
Intends to control (or at least influence) the creation of (this segment) of music (preference in speed, rhythm, pitch...).
Promotion (and assistance) of individuals or groups not based on any ability or talent, but for other reasons.

On the plus side; it's just in the hip-hop segment, and there's nothing about suppressing or controlling music as a whole.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

New Photos Offer Better Look at iPhone 12 Color Options

Tuesday October 20, 2020 2:34 am PDT by
As we wait for the iPhone 12 review embargo to lift later today, more pictures are circulating of the devices in real-world lighting conditions, providing a better look at the different colors available. Leaker DuanRui has shared images on Twitter of the iPhone 12 in white, black, blue, green, and (PRODUCT)RED. The black and white colors are similar to the iPhone 11 colors, but the other...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Some Apple Watch SE Owners Experiencing Issues With Overheating [Updated]

Monday October 19, 2020 11:38 am PDT by
There may be an issue with the new Apple Watch SE, which some users have found is overheating after a few hours of usage. Several Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea have run into problems, as noted in a Reddit post chronicling the complaints. There have been six reports from Apple Watch SE owners in South Korea who have had their Apple Watches get hot and malfunction, with a yellow spot...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

Apple Releases iPadOS and iOS 14.1 With Multiple Bug Fixes Ahead of iPhone 12 Launch

Tuesday October 20, 2020 10:06 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.1, the first major updates to the iOS and iPadOS 14 operating system updates that were released in September. iOS and iPadOS 14.1 come a week after Apple released the golden master versions of the updates to developers. The iOS 14.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access...

Watch: iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro Unboxing Videos and First Impressions

Tuesday October 20, 2020 6:05 am PDT by
Apple's embargo has lifted for iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro reviews. In addition to our detailed review roundups for each device, we've rounded up over a dozen unboxing videos and first impressions below. iPhone 12 in Blue on left and iPhone 12 Pro in Pacific Blue on right via Engadget Key new features of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro include a flat-edge design, 5G support, a much faster A14 ...

Apple Plans to Enable 5G in Dual SIM Mode With Software Update Later This Year

Monday October 19, 2020 9:20 am PDT by
iPhone XS models and newer feature both a physical SIM slot and a digital eSIM, allowing for a feature known as dual SIM, dual standby. This means you can have two lines of service on one iPhone, which is useful for purchasing data-only plans while traveling abroad or having personal and business lines on a single iPhone. 5G will not be available in Dual SIM mode on the iPhone 12 and iPhone...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...