Alaysia Sierra, longtime head of R&B at Apple Music, announced their move to Spotify on Tuesday (July 5) to take on the same role at the competing streaming platform.
Sierra spent over five years with Apple Music, amplifying R&B across the globe and playing a crucial role in the careers of artists like Summer Walker, Giveon and Tems through Apple’s Up Next program. The announcement came in the late night hours by way of Sierra’s Instagram profile, where the L.A. native posted a carousel, including a letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook, praising the R&B force for bringing “passion, creativity and tenacity” to the multi-billion dollar company.
Spotify head of urban music Carl Chery congratulated Sierra on Twitter, writing, “Please help me welcome Spotify’s new Head of R&B.” Sierra also joins fellow genre heads, Eddie Santiago (US Latin), Ronny Ho (dance) and Rachel Whitney (country).
One of Sierra’s larger recent projects at Apple was the “R&B Around The World” program in May, documenting the genre’s global presence and evolution, centering international R&B artists Ella Mai, Omah Lay, UMI, Col3trane, Chicocurlyhead and Davido.
“R&B is global and the last few years alone have shown just how global it can be,” Sierra said in a press release.
The news arrives weeks after Spotify CEO Daniel Ek notified the company’s employees of a hiring slow down of 25%, amidst economic uncertainty across the globe. According to Ek, Spotify “[continues] to still hire and grow, we are just going to slow that pace and be a bit more prudent with the absolute level of new hires over the next few quarters,” reports CNBC.
— Carl Chery (@carlchery) July 6, 2022