Spotify launched a pair of new playlists on Wednesday. Big whoop — except this time the streaming service is taking a page from the Beats 1 playbook, enlisting artists to host the radio-like programs, dubbed AM/PM and Secret Genius, and part of their ongoing “Originals” series.
AM/PM features artists like Tinie Tempah, Wolf Alice, Jean Michel Jarre and Terry Hall talking about their favorite morning and night music. Each artist gets to program two playlists, one for each part of their day. Wolf Alice singer Ellie Rowsell, for example, picked the Beastie Boys‘ “Sabotage” as her first track (though she does mistakenly say the band “learned to play their instruments after their career had started”).
Secret Genius is a more traditional-sounding interview show, with topics discussed and songs sprinkled throughout each episode. The first three installments released by Spotify feature Nick Van Eede, Ed Drewett and, most notably, James Blake, who comments on his collaboration with Beyonce and reveals why he once turned down a collaboration with Drake.
The story goes that, four years after sending Drake some collaborative ideas, a rep for the Toronto rapper sent him an email saying that one of the beats was being used on “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” and that they wanted his approval so they could release it the next day. Blake’s response? No. “I only sent it as a collaborative idea, not to be sampled on a record,” he says. “I asked my manager how much money I turned down by doing that and it was, uh, I spat out my drink… I little bit regretted it later because it is good. I just did it as a matter of principle at the time.”
He adds, “Just because someone has an impressive amount of clout and a global platform, I don’t give a shit about that… I just want to make good music with people. And it was good music. But just ask me.”
And check out the “AM” portion of Wolf Alice’s AM/PM episode: