Essence Fest, held annually in New Orleans, LA, is the ultimate “Party with a Purpose.” The music festival serves to magnify the voices of Black female creators, and this year, Spotify’s House of Are & Be will help turn the volume up even higher.
The House of Are & Be celebrates Spotify’s Are & Be playlist hitting five million followers. The house is also a multi-storied tribute to Black women in R&B and podcasts that includes an art gallery showcasing musicians and podcasters, recording studio, and performance space.
Each of the six rooms on the first floor of the house are designed based on different eras in R&B. Album and podcast art on display tell the stories of true works of art from legends Patti LaBelle, Erykah Badu, Sade, Chaka Khan, Mary J. Blige, Destiny’s Child, H.E.R, and more.
In the Bar Room, find The Classics. Move onto the Red Room for Neo Soul, followed by Contemporary R&B in the White Room. Things heat up in the Pool Room, which is a tribute to the many ladies of 90’s R&B, followed by R&B Excellence in the Dining Room and New R&B in the Backyard.
Move from the first floor to the second and remember that Black women’s talents extend beyond music, with a podcasting studio and gallery showcasing six Black women-led podcasts including Jemele Hill is Unbothered, Dope Labs, The Nod, Still Processing, and Therapy for Black Girls. The focal point of the room is Jemele Hill is Unbothered, an honest, thought-provoking, always-entertaining weekly podcast that focuses on American life, culture, politics and more.
Beyond the installations, Spotify House will also host a live recording of Jemele’s podcast, featuring Kamala Harris, The Black Girl Magic brunch and day party with performances from Summer Walker and Ari Lennox as well as an evening Are & Be Jam Session curated by musician and producer Raphael Saadiq.
Black women have incredible stories to tell—and the Spotify House of Are & Be is handing them the mic.