Ahmir Thompson, professionally known as Questlove, has joined the ranks of Pandora as their first artist ambassador, a strategic advisor and the host of a weekly radio show, Questlove Supreme. The Grammy-winning musician will provide strategic advice and support for artist initiatives, as well as music product strategy.
The partnership comes at a crucial time, as the internet radio leader’s growth has been slowing due to increasing competition between streaming services, its development peaking at an average of 81.5 million monthly listeners in 2014, according to a New York Times report. Furthermore, the digital music platform has had issues with the music industry in the past due to costly royalty disputes, making Questlove’s endorsement all the more pertinent.
“We are entering into a new phase for the company,” Pandora co-founder Tim Westergren told The New York Times. “We are working more directly with labels and artists. We really want to invest a lot in that nexus, and having someone like him bridge that and speak on our behalf is really powerful.”
Questlove Supreme, a three-hour program, will show off the host’s eclectic music taste with comprehensive playlists curated to thematically fit each week’s discussion topics. A wide-range of guests are set to appear, including SNL alum Maya Rudolph and Grammy winner Kimbra. The Roots drummer describes the show as an extension of the music courses he teaches at New York University and “the black nerd version of NPR.”
Questlove Supreme debuts on Sept. 7 at 1 p.m. EST, and will replay for 48 hours each week. Get your first taste of the show via Questlove’s intro mixtape here.