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Calgary artist tapped by Spotify to curate playlist

Spotify's Indigenous playlist had more than 52,220 likes as of Jan. 19.  (Christian Hartmann/Reuters - image credit)
Spotify's Indigenous playlist had more than 52,220 likes as of Jan. 19. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters - image credit)

Wyatt C. Louis says that when he listens to an album, it's typically front to back.

So when the Calgary-based Plains Cree folk singer was tapped by Spotify to curate its Indigenous playlist, that was, in part, the inspiration he drew on.

"Putting my record together and having that flow — it's just an automatic thing of putting music together," he said.

Louis says the playlist, which had more than 52,000 likes as of Friday, includes a mix of trailblazers, new songs and traditional powwow music.

And it was a playlist he'd already been following, and featured on, for a while.

"The last song I put on, which is Mountain Soul Singers, means a lot to my dad, when he started powwow dancing. I thought a lot about my family, in a sense, and where I'm from," he said.

The curator of the playlist is selected on a rolling basis. In an online press release, Spotify said it is experimenting with playlist creation and discovery.

"We're always testing unique and different listening experiences and programs for our fans."

Louis included songs from other Canadian artists, such as William Prince, who is based in Manitoba, and Julian Taylor, who is from Toronto.

Part of the promotion of the playlist is a billboard of Louis — at the bustling Toronto Eaton Centre.

"I was just really fortunate that I was able to give some space to some of my favourite artists … it's still kind of surreal, even with a billboard," he said.

LISTEN | Wyatt C. Louis explains his picks: