Tuma Basa is the music executive you should know

Antoine Maurice King, MBA, MSIT

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Tuma Basa(Instagram)

Tuma Basa is the Director of Black Music & Culture at YouTube. He supports musicians, songwriters, and producers in securing their niches in the market by promoting their work through original video content. In addition to providing music, YouTube Music also includes information on the musicians and their backgrounds.

The way music is distributed changed over the years. Hip-hop was primarily distributed on urban streets through physical mixtapes and CDs before the advent of streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube Music. Homemade cassettes helped artists like Kool Herc and Afrika Bambaataa and two Bronx DJs credited with influencing the growth of the now-global genre launch their careers in New York City starting in the mid-1970s. Years later, the same resources aided the early development of rappers' careers like 50 Cent, T.I., Young Jeezy, and others.

When he was a student at the University of Iowa in the 1990s, Tuma Basa was a master of the mixtape, selecting tracks by artists like Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls, and A Tribe Called Quest, and one of his all-time faves, De La Soul.

The preoccupation with mixtapes appears to have been a sign of things to come, as Basa's current position involves developing black music on Youtube. He joined YouTube in 2018. The platform may not have the same recognition as a service like Spotify, but it has a similar impact on connecting artists with listeners. As usual, Tuma is utilizing YouTube's global audience to combine it with up-and-coming genres and performers like Yung Bleu and Coi Leray.

Tuma began his career in music as a programmer, spending more than ten years at BET and MTV. He then played a crucial role in P. Diddy's REVOLT TV debut. But as soon as the business accepted streaming, Tuma abandoned traditional TV and joined Spotify in the new world. He was the curator of the RapCaviar playlist there, which at the time had over nine million followers and was among the top five Spotify playlists worldwide.

One of the great things about Basa being on Youtube is his ability to create different types of content. His focus at Spotify was playlisting, which can be considered one-dimensional. With Youtube, he can help develop films, shows, music videos, songs, and other music-related content.

It will be interesting to see how Basa develops and expands the black music department with Youtube in the future.

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Antoine Maurice King, AABA, BSIT, MBA, MSIT, is the founder of Spate Media and digital marketing, business, and technology expert. With over 15 years of business and marketing experience, he has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Antoine currently works as a business consultant and educator on a variety of different types of projects. He loves writing about local events, music, business, technology, and people doing great things in the community. If you know of any great people doing good things in the community or any stories you think should get attention, feel free to let me know.

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