New York City’s popular radio host Ebro Darden, who also serves as Apple Music Beats 1 anchor, will be taking up residence in a new role as Apple Music’s global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B.
In a recent interview with Complex, Darden, who hosts New York City radio station Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning with Laura Stylez & Rosenberg show, explained that he will be tasked with “overseeing the strategy and direction of all of the hip-hop and R&B for the globe.”
He says that his goal is to make sure Apple Music “is focused, directed, and organized on the right sounds” when it comes to discovering hip-hop and R&B music.
Darden touches on some of the differences between human and algorithmic curation at Apple Music:
What we’ve tried to do with Apple Music and Beats 1 is merge those concepts. Inside Apple Music, you can get an algorithmic radio station for sure. You can get playlists that are tailored to certain moods and sounds and vibes. But you can also get Beats 1, which is a live radio station inside Apple Music. You can get mixes from DJs inside Apple Music and music videos inside Apple Music. I don’t think even people understand the capabilities that are available, the things that they can do.
In regards to content, Darden makes it clear that he wants to focus on making it easier for users to find and enjoy music in a more on-demand fashion:
There are on-demand interviews via video and on-demand radio shows. I mean, if you want to listen to OVO Sound, if you want to listen to Pharrell, if you want to listen to Travis Scott shows, Frank Ocean shows, if you want to listen to live things, they happen live. You can also get the playlists of those shows. One of the things we’re going to be doing in the years to come is make that stuff easier to find and easier to use.
Darden will be managing a team of editors and directing its editorial strategies, while also balancing his duties as a Hot 97 hip-host radio host, explains a report from Billboard. He will also continue to host his Beats 1 show.
“We’re excited that Ebro is joining us in a full-time capacity,” says Apple Music’s global director of editorial Rachel Newman. “Having dedicated his life and career to hip-hop, R&B and pop music, he has so much to offer. One of Ebro’s most defining characteristics is that he has great ears for where R&B and hip-hop are transcending and evolving to beyond even the borders of the U.S.”
Darden took over the position that was previously held by Carl Chery, Apple Music’s former head of artist curation who left to assume a role at Spotify in April.
Ebro Darden’s full interview is available over at Complex, it’s well worth the read.