YouTube Names Tuma Basa Director of Urban Music

Basa spent the last three years at Spotify as global programming head for hip-hop.

Tuma Basa, who in March left Spotify, where he led curation of the popular RapCaviar playlist, has been appointed YouTube’s Director of Urban Music.

YouTube today announced that Basa “will lead activities that draw on his deep industry connections and expertise in programming to increase our engagement with the urban music community, artists and consumers.” Asked for further details on this newly created role, a source told Variety that Basa will be helping artists and labels get the full benefit of YouTube’s direct-to-fan tools through product education; will serve as a liaison between YouTube and the artist community; and will also be programming, a component of which is playlisting.

Said Lyor Cohen, Global Head of Music at YouTube: “Tuma brings a deep knowledge of the Music Industry with many years of experience at BET, MTV, REVOLT and most recently, Spotify. His experience will be invaluable to the music journey we are on at YouTube, connecting artists and fans across the globe, and I am thrilled to welcome his voice to our collective efforts.”

Upon Basa’s exit from Spotify, where he worked for three years as global programming head for hip-hop, the Swedish streaming giant noted: “Tuma has been an incredible asset to the RapCaviar team, and we thank him for his contributions,” Spotify said when announcing his departure Thursday. “The RapCaviar team, which is rapidly expanding with boots on the ground globally, is committed to building the brand and giving its users the best hip hop experience on the platform.”

YouTube has recently launched its own music streaming service called YouTube Music. Basa’s appointment comes on the heels of the recent move by Carl Chery from Apple Music to Spotify.

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