With the current protests right now fighting against the unfair and often illegal treatment of black people by police, companies, individuals, and brands everywhere are giving their voice to the black community. Except, apparently, Spotify. Over the last five days, many have been tagging Spotify dance music editorial curator Austin Kramer about his silence on black matters.
It began on June 3 when DJ Sliink asked Kramer if we can “get some people of color in those curated Spotify playlist[s].” Dozens more jumped onto the thread and continuously tagged Kramer and… silence.
— KING (@DjSliink) June 3, 2020
Days later, Kenny Beats brought more attention to the issue, calling out Kramer for his silence.
HEY @austinkramer !
SLIINK ASKED YOU A QUESTION A FEW DAYS AGO DONT YOU THINK HE DESERVES A RESPONSE? https://t.co/5Qfr0RPgUf
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) June 5, 2020
— Gianni Lee (@giannilee) June 6, 2020
The next day, Kramer still hadn’t replied, but “had time to like a ‘its the weekend baby’ tweet yesterday … but still not a single post or repsonse on any social media about Black artists.”
The silence is deafening ….. you had time to like a “its the weekend baby” tweet yesterday … but still not a single post or response on any social media about Black artists …@Spotify this is who’s running DANCE MUSIC ?? https://t.co/uu3aOi49yV pic.twitter.com/EhkBEXR2yr
— kennybeats (@kennybeats) June 6, 2020
That afternoon, Kramer finally, quietly, added Sliink’s song “Omm” to the Friday Cratediggers playlist. It was a step in the right direction, but still overall silence on the larger issue.
Thank u @austinkramer 4 adding my song 2 Cratediggers overnight. My tweet to u wasn’t to plug my tracks, but to open up the dialogue. We need equality 4 black dance music artist & sub-genres to be represented. Can we please have a conversation for change, Stacey White @DjSliink pic.twitter.com/Q51TPnw8fO
— KING (@DjSliink) June 6, 2020
Did he even respond or just put the record on the playlist to shut you up?
— Frank Sriracha (@NarainTrain) June 6, 2020
Just like the gov’t, @Spotify needs a checks and balances system. The Austin Kramer situation is just one example of how giving one person too much power leads to silencing already marginalized artists.
— Richfellow – BLM (@RichfellowMusic) June 8, 2020
hey @austinkramer multiple amazing producers have asked you to respond to the current events and their questions and you have ignored them… it is now obvious where you stand, and it isn’t with us! White silence is violence! #FireAustinKramer
— PERK (@iamperkmusic) June 8, 2020
Your EDM has reached out to Kramer for any comment on the situation but has not heard back at time of publishing. Despite a statement from Spotify’s main account saying “now is not the time for silence,” its biggest global head of electronic music, a culture that began with the black community, is silent.
— Spotify (@Spotify) May 30, 2020