Meet Four Spotify Pulse Fellows From Our Development Program for Black Creatives—and Apply to Join the 2023 Cohort

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Behind Spotify’s platform, playlists, and programs are passionate individuals who harness creativity in their work every day. And because creative thinking is at its best when pulled from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, unleashing the full scope of creative potential at Spotify means giving as many people as possible a seat at the table. So one year ago, we announced several new ways we’d be working with existing partners—like the 4A’s Foundation, which provides scholarships and career opportunities for young Black creatives at various stages in their artistic journeys—to add and fill those seats.  

The Spotify Pulse Fellowship is the result: a cocreated, yearlong creative development program for Black professionals with one to three years of professional experience in the advertising industry. To bring it to life, we partner with programs that are already doing inspiring work supporting, developing, and empowering Black creatives like MAIP (Multicultural Advertising Internship Program), D&AD Shift, Marcus Graham Project, ONE School, and our newest program partner, BLAC Internship. Tapping into organizations already created for and by Black creatives is key to finding talent for the Spotify PULSE Program. It initiates opportunities for individuals in underrepresented communities to gain access to careers at the top, and ensures the opportunities and offerings we’re enabling are even more intentional, impactful, and meaningful.

This week, we’re excited to announce that we are accepting applications for the second cohort of the Pulse Fellowship. Learn more by getting to know some of the inaugural members and their work across Spotify. 

Miso Brown, He/Him, Art Director/Production

Tell us a little bit about your experience at Spotify so far. 

The experience has been great. Working on ideas and coming up with concepts for the culture is probably as close to a dream job as I could imagine. I mean, working on “Ripple Effect TX” was fantastic. I always love being on set and taking in the beautiful chaos of shoot days. But “Sunday Dinner” TX came together, and you could feel the level of interest and involvement from all of the team members, stakeholders, and crew, so it really felt like being a part of something important.

You’re already six months in, but there’s still plenty more of the fellowship to come. What are you most looking forward to on the horizon? 

I’m looking forward to working on more “Sunday Dinner” content and potentially pitching some of my own ideas for projects, especially stuff focused on emerging artists. For me, hearing the stories of musicians and creatives, whether they be emerging or established, has always been close to my heart; they’re the best kinds of underdog stories. There are also some really cool catalogs of music coming to Spotify, so I’m already ideating new ways to get people involved with hip-hop musically and culturally. 

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring young Black creatives looking to work in your field?

The biggest piece of advice I have sounds like a long-reused trope unfortunately, which is, “Be yourself.” But I think more specifically, “Be more afraid of what would happen from not letting your real self shine through than getting it wrong.” The fear of wanting to get it right, whatever “it” may be, will keep you stuck in “survive thinking” instead of “thrive thinking.” To be creative in your job, even if you aren’t traditionally considered creative, you need the freedom to be able to make some mistakes. And you only bear the benefit from that if you give yourself the permission to make a few mistakes, learn from them, and be better on the next one.

 

 

Alyssa Williams, She/Her, Art Director/Design

Tell us a little bit about your experience at Spotify so far.

Spotify cares. The people care and it shows in the culture. People are not afraid to reach out and ask questions about material that they are not familiar with and are willing to loop in people who are. I’m excited to see that this company encourages real conversations about culture, community, music, and unity.

You’re already six months in, but there’s still plenty more of the fellowship to come. What are you most looking forward to on the horizon?

I’ve worked alongside the most talented intellectuals in the game; therefore, I’m looking forward to soaking up as much knowledge from my mentors as possible. Whether that be knowing where to find the coolest snacks in the office or learning design secrets you can’t find on YouTube. I look forward to creating meaningful work with meaningful people for meaningful people.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring young Black creatives looking to work in your field?

Keep that same energy. The energy that was the key to opening doors that made you successful. Just because you are in the door doesn’t mean the grind is over. Keep challenging yourself and studying your craft. When you focus on your craft, you always win.

 

Zane Durham, He/Him, Copywriter 

Tell us a little bit about your experience at Spotify so far. 

Spotify has provided a nurturing environment that allows me to have organic growth within my career. Being able to touch multiple types of work in a short amount of time allows me to see the depths of my creativity. So far I’ve loved creating assets for some of my favorite artists, such as Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd for “My Top 5.”

You’re already six months in, but there’s still plenty more of the fellowship to come. What are you most looking forward to on the horizon? 

With the time we have left, I would love to continue our work with emerging artists across Frequency and really build visibility to independent artists.

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring young Black creatives looking to work in your field?

I would say be a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can early on. Don’t be afraid to ask those clarifying questions to help yourself be better prepared. Lastly, do not tie your creative identity just to the work you do in the office; continue to be the creative genius that makes you an asset to any agency or company. 

 

Amare Symone She/Her or They/Them, Copywriter

Tell us a little bit about your experience at Spotify so far.

Being a part of the inaugural cohort for the Spotify PULSE Fellowship has been magical. So far, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate in diverse team settings and have witnessed the importance of team building in relation to the creative process and the final product. My favorite project that I’ve worked on thus far has been Jemele Hill’s Unbothered Network launch with Spotify. The theme of the work is very much aligned with my own creative ethos and why-factor. It was a blessing to amplify Black women’s voices across different industries. Throughout it all, I’m grateful for my family, friends, mentors, peers, PULSE fellows, the One Club for Creativity, 4As Foundation, and the entire One School US family.

You’re already six months in, but there’s still plenty more of the fellowship to come. What are you most looking forward to on the horizon? 

Time waits for no one, and that’s the exact reason why you should live each minute to the fullest. With that said, I’m looking forward to giving myself freedom to live more. When I go out and live, then I’m able to go and create work that changes the world. I’m also looking forward to strengthening my skills as a creative storyteller and building community across the advertising space. 

What’s a piece of advice you’d give to other aspiring young Black creatives looking to work in your field?

One piece of advice that I’d pass on to aspiring Black creatives is to remember YOUR North Star. There are days that you’ll stare at your hands and wonder why you’re even creating. Your North Star will always be there to ground you and remind you who you are and where you came from. Also, never dilute who you are. It’s your authenticity that helped you dream so big, and it’s also what will make your ideas shine. Go be the light that you’ve always been.

 

The 2023 Spotify PULSE Application is now live. Learn more and apply here.

The post Meet Four Spotify Pulse Fellows From Our Development Program for Black Creatives—and Apply to Join the 2023 Cohort appeared first on Spotify.

Inside Spotify, 4A’s Foundation, 4As, alyssa williams, Amare Symone, BLAC internship, black creatives, D&AD Shift, Diversity Inclusion & Belonging, Diversity Inclusion and Belonging, Frequency, MAIP, Marcus Graham Project, miso brown, ONE School, Pulse, Ripple Effect, Spotify Pulse Fellowship, zane durham

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