NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Public Library added 50 albums to their locally-focused music streaming service, Crescent City Sounds.
The platform launched last fall with music from 30 New Orleans artists. The library held a second submission round this spring and the new class of albums is live now.
The collection was built by a team of curators made up of library staff and more established players in New Orleans’ music community, including Josh Smith, the library staff member leading Crescent City Sounds. This year’s curation team also included Renard Bridgewater – a local hip-hop performer known as Slangston Hughes who works with the Music and Culture Coalition of New Orleans – and Bryan Funck, owner of record store Sister in Christ and vocalist for local metal band, Thou.
Over 100 artists applied to be a part of Crescent City Sounds during this submission round. In addition to being featured on the platform, all Crescent City Sounds artists receive a $250 honorarium for their work.
“There is no better feeling than getting the music out to the community and some paychecks to the artists,” said Smith. “Interacting with the musicians is a really wonderful aspect of this project. This city is full of creative and lovely people.”
Among the new music is hip-hop album Time Will Tell by Sozi, a Chicago native and Dillard University graduate.
“I am thankful and appreciative to the New Orleans Public Library for choosing my album to be a part of the Crescent City Sounds collection,” he said. “This means a lot to me because, just like I was able to find some of my favorite artists, somebody will find this album, listen to it, and my music could become the soundtrack to their life.”
The library plans to add new artists to Crescent City Sounds every year, aiming to be truly representative of the New Orleans music scene. The platform now features a diverse range of genres, including rap, punk, brass bands, jazz, and children’s music.
“Each round teaches lessons for the next round and all the other ways that this project can touch the community. I have big ideas for the future and I am excited to see where this path leads,” Smith said.
Crescent City Sounds’ new music is live now. Listeners can stream at crescentcitysounds.org.