Unscripted

Spotify and All Def Digital debut “Traffic Jams”

Continuing its push into original video content, music streaming platform Spotify has partnered with All Def Digital on a new, music-themed series. Starting April 4 and running every Tuesday for eight ...
March 29, 2017

Continuing its push into original video content, music streaming platform Spotify has partnered with All Def Digital on a new, music-themed series.

Starting April 4 and running every Tuesday for eight weeks, Traffic Jams takes hip-hop fans along for a ride as newly paired rapper-producer teams work together to create all-new tracks from scratch, giving music lovers an inside look into the creative process of producing a hit.

The rapper-producer duos travel across Los Angeles in an SUV during rush hour, and are told they need to create a new song before they arrive at their destination — the Spotify-All Def Stage — where fans will be waiting to hear them perform live. Comedian DoBoy (aka Fat Drive) drives the SUV and chats with the artists as they work on their new track.

“Our audience loves hip hop, and with Traffic Jams we want to give them a deeper understanding of the artists and the creative process behind the music. Working with the All Def Digital team, we were able to produce a best in class hip hop series that tells stories that have never been told before and takes the musical performance format to another level,” said Tom Calderone, global head of Spotify Studios, in a statement.

The first episode jumps-off T-Pain, collaborating with Atlanta’s own Southside. Upcoming duos include DRAM and Melo X, Joey Bada$$ and Cardo, and Pell and !llmind.

“Our team at All Def Digital has been doing an incredible job developing and producing a variety of new series and formats across music, comedy and culture. Traffic Jams is an exciting new premium series that shows off true talent — recording artists and producers — and their ingenuity, creativity and personalities,” said Russell Simmons, co-founder of All Def Digital. “It has improvisation, it has performances, and I’m pretty sure it will spawn a few new hits too — it’s amazing and Spotify is the perfect platform for it.”

Last May, Spotify revealed an inaugural slate of 12 original music-theme video programs, as well as a true-crime show.

“We are developing original content that is rooted in music, pop culture, and animation that is driven by the passion and sense of humor of our audience,” Calderone said in a statement issued at the time. “We are working with artists, producers and partners who understand that the Spotify audience has a strong connection to artists and wants to go deeper into their worlds, see their performances and expressions, and hear their stories.”.

Spotify follows similar moves by other digital platforms, including Apple and Facebook, into video production. Among its unscripted titles are: Landmark, about important moments in music history; the animated Drawn & Recorded, featuring narration by T Bone Burnett; the anthology series Life In Short; a docuseries about public performances, Public Spaces; and the music video format Flash Frame.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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