In the US, Juneteenth is the day recognizing the news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reaching slaves in Texas. To honor Juneteenth 2021, Apple Music commissioned a specially curated collection of songs – Juneteenth 2021: Freedom Songs. The compilation features original compositions and covers in service of the holiday from Amaarae, Black Thought, Chloe & Halle, D Smoke, H.E.R., Hit-Boy, Honey Dijon, Jean Dawson, Jimmie Allen, Kane Brown, Kirk Franklin, Madison Calley, Maverick City Music, Saba, Sech, Tobe Nwigwe, Tems, Terrace Martin & Brandee Younger, Willie Jones and Zeal & Ardor. In addition, Ghanaian American visual artist Kwadwo Obeng pairs with some of the artists works to create timeless visualizations of their individual Juneteenth messages. The Juneteenth Freedom Songs playlist is available today only on Apple Music. Listen HERE.
“2021 marks an important moment in Black History with Juneteenth finally being recognized as a holiday by cities and states across America. Until now, many people were not taught about the importance of June 19th in public schools and corporations and state governments weren’t giving time off. This is a very big moment in history that the mainstream is embracing and acknowledging the day enslaved Black Africans were set free from physical bondage by the US government —a painful part of American history that can no longer be a side-note,” said Ebro Darden, Apple Music Global Head of Hip-Hop and R&B. “Our teams at Apple Music are pushing the Black Music Month conversation internationally, working to make sure the world understands that all popular music today was started by Black people. The significance of these recognitions is helping normalize the truth and the trauma done to Black people worldwide by white supremacy and racism.”
Darden adds, “Juneteenth 2021: Freedom Songs is an idea born with the desire to make sure new sounds were available for this important day. Many corporations and state governments are acknowledging Juneteenth now, so our idea was to help lift this day higher and create more awareness. Black artists from many genres and from around the world contributed this moment this year, the same way Black creatives and storytellers over centuries shared their talent, soul, joy and pain to create all the music the world enjoys today.’”
Artists taking part in Juneteenth 2021 Freedom Songs were commissioned by Apple Music to speak to the spirit of this day through the majesty of music. The project spans over 20 artists and a dozen genre perspectives from Hip-hop, Gospel, Metal, Jazz, R & B, Country and more. Within this collection, the listener uncovers the complexity of the Black experience against the backdrop of the historical touchpoint that is Juneteenth. From joy to pain and from hope to rage, Freedom Songs is a sonic journey through covers from the past and new works of today.
Additionally, Apple Music will celebrate Black artistry and influence all month long in honor of ‘Black Music Month 2021,’ an exploration of the legacy, artistry, impact, and influence of Black musicians around the globe through Playlists, DJ Mixes, Original Content, Apple Music TV, Radio Programming & More. Check out Apple Music’s celebration of ‘Black Music Month 2021’ HERE.