In celebration of Black Music Month, Apple’s newest US store in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, has teamed up with the National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) to host virtual Today at Apple sessions with country artists Willie Jones and Valerie June. Attendees learn music-making skills from these incredible songwriters as they explore the rich history of music, story, and culture.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with our next-door neighbor, the National Museum of African American Music, to celebrate Black Music Month and bring Today at Apple programming to the Nashville community,” said Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail + People. “Our Today at Apple sessions aim to inspire creativity, and with sessions led by incredible artists like Willie Jones and Valerie June, we are excited to hear what our attendees create.”
Hosted by Apple Music’s Rissi Palmer, the Today at Apple sessions feature Jones and June leading participants through songwriting skills. In Jones’s session on June 8, he shared his songwriting process, which begins when he pulls out his iPhone to capture the spark of a melody in the Voice Memos app. Once he has the basis of his melody, he takes it to the studio, where he pulls inspiration for lyrics from the Notes app — his preferred method for getting out his ideas. He often works collaboratively with co-writers in Pages, using different fonts and colors just to “make it fun” before building out the track in Logic Pro.
Tomorrow, June 15, singer-songwriter Valerie June will explore mindfulness and creativity, and will teach participants how to draw inspiration from the rich history of African American culture. Together with Palmer and NMAAM Vice President of Brand and Partnerships Tuwisha D. Rogers-Simpson, June will then lead a creative exercise to explore gratitude, courage, and joy using the Notes app on iPhone.
“Here at NMAAM, our main focus is to educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans have played in creating the American Soundtrack,” said Rogers-Simpson. “Today at Apple shares that focus of educating and inspiring others through the power of music and creativity, and we look forward to working together on many more sessions in the future.”
Apple Music is celebrating Black Music Month worldwide with an exploration of the legacy, artistry, impact, and influence of Black musicians. For the first time ever, Apple Music is taking the significance of Black Music Month worldwide with bespoke global playlists in over 30 different countries that explore the undeniable impact of Black music on local popular music. Apple Music also commissioned 15 new DJ Mixes from standout Black artists including Honey Dijon, Amorphous, DBN Gogo, DJ Clue, DāM FunK, and more. Across the platform, Apple Music’s celebration of Black Music Month will feature special programming on Apple Music TV and in radio programming across Apple Music 1, Apple Music Country, and Apple Music Hits.