5. Taking aim: Slingshot
NPR Music has upped the ante on introducing emerging artists to the world. Doubling down on new talent, their Slingshot series invites up-and-coming artists to participate in interviews and performances through Member Stations.
As a proud sponsor of emerging artists and the Slingshot series, we like what we see so far! Here’s to more music from artists like Jamila Woods, Big Thief, and Lo Moon getting heard.
6. Moonwalking with Michael: thoughtful eulogies
When the world mourned the King of Pop’s unexpected death in 2009, NPR Music was there to provide thoughtful commentary.
With eulogies like “Michael Jackson Dances On In Our Memory” and discussions with fellow musician Lenny Kravitz about how Michael Jackson changed music forever, we were back to moonwalking a little bit sooner.
7. Sneaking a peek: First Listen
We’re always searching for new music at iZotope, and NPR’s First Listen is our go-to series to hear albums from front to back before they’re released. Whether it’s an upcoming album from a classic artist or a fresh face, we look to First Listen to expand our playlists with great new music.
8. Keeping it real: best-of lists
These days, everyone publishes a “best song of the year” listicle. Most are Billboard clones or prescriptive, “take-it-or-leave it” lists. Not the case for NPR Music.
Flexing their curatorial muscles, NPR serves theirs with a dose of reality as to what a best-of list should be. They write:
"Rather than attempt to come to a consensus about the best albums or songs from the first six months of the year, we opted to select music that was meaningful to us as individuals, music that washed away all the background noise, songs and albums and performances that made sense to us, whether or not they made sense of the world."
9. Pushing creative limits: Project Song
NPR Music is not just a team of editorial masterminds, they’re a creative force.
Take Project Song, an NPR series that gives musicians 48 hours to write and record a song. In one of the best efforts to date, Moby and collaborator Kelli Scarr penned three versions of the song “Gone to Sleep.”