Spotify, Mic and Headcount.Org Partner to Launch “Clarify,” an Original Audio and Video Series to Encourage Young People to Vote

Hosted by Comedian and New York Times Bestseller Baratunde Thurston, Series to Feature Some of Today’s Hottest Musicians Including American DJ/Producer Diplo, Rap Metal Group Prophets of Rage, and Rappers Talib Kweli, Vic Mensa and more


Click here for a first look at Clarify

In advance of what is sure to be one of the most influential elections for Millennial voters, today Spotify Mic and announced the launch of Clarify, an original audio and video weekly series that explores the intersection of music and key issues important to young people. Hosted by best-selling author and former Daily Show producer Baratunde Thurston, Clarify will be available on Spotify mobile and desktop and will feature some of today’s hottest musicians including American DJ/Producer Diplo, Prophets of Rage, Vic Mensa, Talib Kweli and more. Additional artists will be announced at a later date.

“With millions of young people listening to Spotify, we wanted to use the power of our platform to inspire civic engagement,” said Kerry Steib, Spotify’s Director of Social Impact. “Through Clarify, we hope to create a meaningful and entertaining way for music fans to explore the issues and provide information that inspires them to turn out for the polls in November.”

Clarify is a breakthrough combination of dynamic conversation and news that will elevate national conversation in this campaign and encourage action come November,” said Cory Haik, chief strategy officer, Mic. “For so many young people the issues Spotify and Mic are addressing in this series are personal. Through Spotify’s interactive platform and influence amongst artists, paired with Mic’s strong voice on matters of social culture, we hope to strengthen points of view on equality and the power of thoughtful action.”

“You like smart and fun one-on-one conversations, emotional roundtable debate and discussion, and schmancy video infographics that make you feel smart? We’ve got all that and more with some of the most intelligent artists making music today,” said Baratunde Thurston, host, Clarify. “It’s been so exciting to be a part of this series that will meet young people where they are during a time when we’re reminded that politics and elections matter.”

Starting Tuesday, September 13 and every Tuesday leading up to Election Day on Tuesday, November 8, Spotify will release an original Clarify audio and video episode. Each episode tackles a different issue which resonates with millennials including education, immigration, healthcare, and civil rights. Along with Baratunde, subject experts and leading journalists will join the discussions.  

The issues featured in each Clarify episode are a direct result of joint research from the bipartisan team of  Hart Research Associates and Echelon Insights, which surveyed Spotify users on the issues that were most meaningful to them. Spotify also worked closely with to leverage their expertise at the center of music and voter engagement. At the end of every episode, and throughout communications, the audience will be encouraged to turn their inspiration and knowledge into action by visiting for voter registration tools.


First Four Clarify Episode Descriptions


Tuesday, September 13: Clarify ft. Diplo on Student Debt

Student loan debt is a tremendous financial burden on young people totalling more than $1.3 trillion, which is more than credit card or auto loan debt.  How we got here is clear but how we’ll get ourselves out of it is not so clear. In this episode of Clarify, experts break down the potential solutions and policy positions, while renowned DJ, Diplo, discusses his own struggles in balancing student debt, education, and pursuing his music career.  


Tuesday, September 20: Clarify ft. Prophets of Rage on the Economy

The U.S. is one of the world’s richest countries but it’s also one of the most unequal when it comes to income and wealth. This is an economic issue affecting all Americans.  In this episode of Clarify, we sit down with the Prophets of Rage (Tom Morello, Tim Commerford, Brad Wilk, Chuck D, B-Real, and DJ Lord) while Mic journalists dig into the facts.


Tuesday, September 27: Clarify ft. Vic Mensa on Civil Rights

Well-publicized, tragic deaths of black men and police have highlighted a complicated civil rights issue.  Too often debate on this issue results in people choosing sides, making it harder to understand the underlying causes of these painful human consequences. In this episode of Clarify, rapper Vic Mensa shares personal stories of growing up as a young black man on the streets of Chicago, while a New York City police officer and Mic journalist discuss institutions and practices that should be addressed.


Tuesday, October 4th: Clarify ft. Talib Kweli on Guns

Following the tragic events in Orlando this past June, which became the latest and worst mass shooting in U.S. history, polling suggested that a majority of Americans favored some tightening of gun control; but Congress has yet to take any action. Are mass shootings the only issue for a renewed debate about gun policy and are Second Amendment rights really at stake in this election? In this episode of Clarify, hip-hop artist Talib Kweli speaks to the issue and the culture of guns in art, while Mic journalists continue to dissect the facts and help provide answers.


To bring Clarify to life, Spotify is creating a series of free cultural events in eight different cities. Each Tuesday, Spotify will work with a different visual artist to create a custom piece of music-inspired art that reflects the Clarify issue being discussed that week. The series will encourage fans to explore the issue through curated live experiences, and take action through on-the-ground voter registration. The first event, focused on student debt, will feature new work from Andrew Kuo, and a discussion that includes poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib at the 934 Gallery in Columbus, OH.  


In addition to Clarify, Spotify’s Election 2016 category will host a variety of content including videos, podcasts, and artists playlists giving the audience a destination where they can explore the issues from multiple viewpoints.
Clarify and Election 2016 are available for both Premium and Free Spotify users on both mobile and desktop in the U.S., only. Tune in, get clear on the issues and let’s all get out and vote in 2016!