Today at noon The Current launches Carbon Sound, a new music stream, website and app dedicated to celebrating the depth, breadth and influence of Black musical expression through genres including Hip-Hop, R&B, Afrobeats, Funk and Electronica, honoring the foundational role of Black music throughout all genres of music. Carbon Sound can be found at carbonsound.fm and on Carbon Sound’s new app, which can be found in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.
The project is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and has been developed in partnership with community broadcasting station KMOJ’s HD2 station 89.9 The Ice. The team behind Carbon Sound is content director Julian Green; the voice of Carbon Sound, Sanni Brown; and community engagement specialist Andre Griffin. Other stations launching in this new format include Radio Milwaukee and WJSU-FM in Jackson, Mississippi.
Julian Green built and manages the music library for Carbon Sound and oversees content output. During his time at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, he was program director of Radio K and founded their online Hip-Hop stream The Vanguard. He was lead on crafting the mission and vision of Carbon Sound and guided the project in its initial stages. “The mission and the vision here are my passions. It’s showing the depth, breadth and beauty of Black musical expression and showing how it’s foundational to the whole canon of musical expression in this country,” he said.
Sanni Brown is the host of The Message, The Current’s hip-hop and R&B show airing Wednesdays. The show will now also be heard on Carbon Sound, airing Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Brown brings more than 10 years of experience in radio at stations KMOJ-FM, KFAI-FM, and 107.1 MyTalk to the role. Outside of her work in broadcasting, Brown is a professional speaker, licensed barber and singer who performs as a solo artist and with Lady Lark. She is a graduate of Concordia University, St. Paul, winner of Brown College’s “You Wanna Be A DJ?” voice talent and self-described “certified Nerd Goddess.” “What’s most important to me is that we’re bringing something to the community—we’re public media, we’re here to give more than we get,” Brown said. “I want Carbon Sound to feel how I feel when I walk up on a barbecue I was invited to. I want it to be like that feeling of, ‘it’s safe here.’”
Andre Griffin is a graduate of Augsburg University with a passion for community outreach and education. He has worked as a Youth Mentor at Banyan Community and as a Community Outreach specialist for the Pan-Afrikan Student Union.
“My love of history and my love of my North Minneapolis community guides my work every day,” he said. “I believe in abundance, we believe in abundance, and I am so glad to be a part of bringing more abundance to the Twin Cities.” His project at Carbon Sound will be helping elevate and amplify local music and artists on the stream and airwaves, as well as being active in the community, helping provide digital and physical spaces for artists and fans to engage and connect.
Freddie Bell, general manager of KMOJ’s Center for Communication and Development (CCD) and KMOJ-FM, The People’s Station, said, “This partnership will help extend and help elevate what we’re doing on The Ice and beyond. Now listeners who are looking for a wider variety of Black music in the Twin Cities will have a destination to find all these different sources of programming.”
“I’m excited for MPR to be joining the cohort of new stations under the CPB’s project to develop a new format for public media. We’re so proud of the work this team has done to create such a powerful addition to the local music community,” said David Safar, managing director of The Current. “We’re also grateful to the funding from the CPB and thrilled to be collaborating with Freddie, his team at KMOJ and The ICE.”