Erykah Badu is making her own mark in the streaming world as she launches her Sonos Station, BADUBOTRON Radio. It was announced that the program would be coming and fans now get to take a different trip inside of Badu’s otherworldly music taste. The neo-soul singer’s platform debuted on Wednesday with an hour-long offering of handpicked musical selections. Her ever-present unpredictability is on full display as her playlist bounces from soul, funk, alternative hip-hop, and more. For Badu, it’s a chance to re energize her creativity and to also further herself as a brand. Amidst her latest nationwide tour, the soft-spoken singer gave further details about how much she’s enjoyed the creation process during a recent media event.
“[I’m] in love with it… really digging into my crates and creating intros, working with the team and working with artwork, it really gave me a creative boost. One I needed to be out here on the road and keep everything flowing. It’s been a labor of love... Of course, I put in extra things into it than what they asked me to. Because I think we all deserve it, you know, some fun and creativity. So it was my chance to express myself.”
Listeners are in for a treat with BADUBOTRON Radio as the singer is ready to deliver a next level experience. Badu already confirmed there will be no guests but that won’t stop her from giving a show like no other. On top of original commercials and intros, she’s taking things up a notch by recording with analog to deliver effects tailored to the musical trip. For anyone looking for commentary, they can expect added-in tales about what inspired her playlist selections and how some of her own songs came about as well. She’s even hinting at unreleased demo tracks and a special appearance from DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown.
Erykah Badu now joins Sonos’ impressive lineup of artists with their own shows. The streaming service has only been out for a year and is already home to names to stars like FKA Twigs, Thom Yorke, and D’Angelo. The radio station is now another independent venture under her belt, along with Badu World Market. The marketplace is home to her own aesthetically-pleasing streetwear brand and her signature Badu Pussy incense. Erykah couldn’t help but chuckle when she explained the origin of her vagina-based incense was based off folklore.
“Badu Pussy was brought up from an idea from the urban legend that my pussy changes people’s energy… Being a strong presence and musician in these relationships gave me this legend that - there’s so much to it. But Badu Pussy was a way to continue that story and legend.”
When it was first released early last year, the incense instantly became a fan favorite and sold out in minutes. For those unable to buy some, the “Phone Down” vocalist also announced that she’ll be releasing a special edition of it on her website in commemoration of her radio station launching.
What makes her latest ventures so special to watch unfold is her business prowess as it blossoms. How she became a successful "She-E-O" is for the same reasons her artistry has become so revered today: she does things her way. Every brand expansion she creates is another chance for Badu to unapologetically express herself. Daring to be unique is what gets her so much fan anticipation for her next offerings, no matter how uncanny.
Still deep in creation mode, Badu says that she’s writing music everyday while she’s on tour. A future project wasn’t been confirmed but she did share some of the newer artists she’d like to collaborate with. “I would really like to do something with Ari Lennox, SZA, Kehlani, Steve Lacy, Thundercat. Just people in the same world. Doesn’t have to be the same genre, voices don’t need to sound alike but it’s a thing that connects us. Like we each have a magnet inside of us that draws us together.”
This is very exciting news for fans and new artists alike. Erykah Badu’s name has been absent in new music releases since her 2015 mixtape But You Caint Use My Phone. As she continues to find inspiration from making BADUBOTRON Radio, this could mark new territory sonically for what’s next. The iconic songwriter understands the legacy she’s preserving but she explained to contributing writer Vicky Inoyo that she’s yet to hit her peak. “[My legacy is] Baduizm, Live, Mama’s Gun, Worldwide Underground, and New Amerykah 1 & 2, with my best work still yet to come.”