6 Reasons To Celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Soulection

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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Over the last ten years, Soulection has impacted music as the cornerstone of innovation and widespread acclaim.

Since 2011, the genre-bending digital radio show has been the hub of authenticity and global independent music, forgoing mainstream expectations. Founded by A&R, DJ and producer Joe Kay along with DJ and creative director Andre Power, Soulection originally began as a Los Angeles-based weekly podcast on SoundCloud, where it amassed 235,000 on the music platform. Taking heed of a growing audience, Kay also uploaded Soulection episodes to accompanying platforms like Bandcamp and Mixcloud, where word soon spread. Hosted live from Kay’s grandmother’s den in El Monte, Soulection soon became locally-renowned for its rare sound, with Kay and Power as cultural tastemakers for “the sound of tomorrow.”

With a penchant for deep grooves and universal genres, once reaching their stride, the duo pivoted Soulection to Apple Music as part of the Beats 1 (now-Apple Music 1) roster in 2015. They gave diverse listeners a space to relish in music outside of last decade’s trap and EDM movements. Soulection was finely curated, carving lanes for up-and-coming independent musicians who previously hadn’t met their breakthrough. The show introduced Seattle-based DJ and producer Sango, who’s a frequent collaborator of R&B crooner Xavier Omar and spawned his own baile funk sound on the Da Rochina series, along with 2020 albums SANGOZINO and Shango. Haitian-Canadian DJ and producer KAYTRANADA has also been an occasional Soulection guest and fan-favorite in the years prior to winning the 2021 Grammys for Best Dance Recording (“10%”) and Best Dance/Electronic Album (Bubba).

Honoring their ten-year milestone on Saturday, April 10, Soulection will host an Apple Music takeover during their “Timeless Sounds 10 Year Mix”—a nine-hour stream with various mixes curated by Kay, Power and others. The show will go from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. PT. Following the mix, Soulection’s 500th episode will premiere, which is sure to bring even more surprises. Here’s a quick timeline + six reasons to celebrate:

Joe Kay & Andre Power Have Come a Long Way

Curating San Diego event Art in the Park, Power booked Kay to DJ in 2010. In a twist of fate, the two grew a budding friendship through creativity and a shared taste in music. With a similar mission, Power and Kay wanted to create a progressive, DIY outlet for artists to build a grassroots audience.

Omarion Was the Introductory Voice of Soulection, Many Followed

R&B singer and B2K frontman has been long-adored for his silky vocals, which he graced Soulection with during their #241 episode in 2016. Following the episode, Omarion recorded a custom drop for the show, which later became their signature intro.

They Successfully Pivoted from Radio Show to Record Label

Remaining independent, the freeform experimentation of Soulection is unrestrained, and the collective took it one step further by becoming a boutique label. With a wide-ranging discography of Black Label and White Label series EPs, Soulection has also released projects by producers IAMNOBODI, Lakim and Esta. 2015 Monte Booker and Smino single “Kolors” later become RIAA-certified Gold.

Their Live Shows Are Top Tier

Creating the live festival Soulection Experience, who’s past performers include Ella Mai, Goldlink and Leven Kali, the collective was slated to host their inaugural Lovers & Friends Festival in Los Angeles last summer, but the event was indefinitely postponed due to the pandemic. Longtime supporters have celebrated the show’s legacy at annual yacht parties in California and spotlight appearances at Coachella.

Soulection Has Made History With Their Expansive Sound

In a 2014 interview with i-D, Kay gave high praise to London for “being one of the capitals of forward-thinking music.” Prior to airing Soulection, Kay avidly studied BBC 1 Radio which paid off as Apple Music 1 has been Soulection’s longest-running residency.

The Team Has Taken the LA Beat Scene Around the World

Emerging from the underground in the last decade’s soulful, manifold beat scene, Soulection is broadcasted in over 100 countries. Soulection has toured across the globe, making their presence felt during sold-out events in Cape Town, Paris, Tokyo and other cities.