LISTEN to Mjeema Pickett’s episode of ESSENCE Podcast Network’s Yes, Girl! here:

The evolution of how we consume music sure has changed, hasn’t it? Records, 8-tracks, mixtapes, mixed CD, and now the streaming playlist. There are a lot of people to thank for the leaps and bounds that have made music more accessible and fun. More recently, we have Mjeema Pickett, the global head of R&B programming at Spotify, to thank for not only reimagining how we listen to music but how we discover music in our own little worlds.

“I also knew that for me to have a happy life, and a successful life, I would have to work in music, but in the background. That’s always been what my driver has been, just following my passion and following just the excitement of even letting somebody discover a song that I might have heard. That is the best feeling I’ve always had growing up. Do you know this song though?” Pickett explained to hosts Cori Murray and Charli Penn in a recent episode of the Yes, Girl! Podcast.

Pickett has helped to build some of the most successful playlists for Spotify including the Are & Be playlist.

The A-R-E and B-E playlist. That is our flagship R&B playlist. Yeah. It’s a pleasure for us to curate it. That’s the destination for the top, biggest performing, hottest R&B tracks,” Pickett says with precision.

Listen to the full episode to hear her weigh in on…


“The Black Lives Matter playlist, we started it after the death of Sandra Bland. How could we not? We were at work and we couldn’t concentrate. The tension was… [deep sigh]. The best thing we could do about it was music. Listening to music, listening to the songs that resonated with us, whether it was a hype or a protest song like “All Right” or “Black Butterfly” by Denise Williams, but songs that soothed us and resonated with how we were feeling.”


“One day, it was almost like I was forced to apply. I was at home, and something told me, just send in my resume. I sent it. A few weeks or two later, I got a call and got it. It was the most amazing thing because this was a whole industry and a new area that I didn’t know anything about. I had all the tools. The whole journey. That’s really my point. Each job and each position I’ve had has always prepared me for the next step without me realizing it.”


  1. ‘Golden Lady’ by Stevie Wonder
  2. ‘All This Love’ by DeBarge
  3. ‘One in a Million’ by Larry Graham
  4. ‘Lady’ by D’Angelo
  5. ‘I’m in Love’ by Mary J. Blige
  6. ‘What You Gonna Do for Me?’ by Chaka Khan

Listen to Mjeema Pickett’s full Yes, Girl! Podcast episode on AppleSpotify, or anywhere you listen to podcasts.


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