Spotify’s global head of hip-hop, Tuma Basa, is leaving the company. An influential music industry figure, Basa helped craft Spotify’s playlist strategy and curated its popular RapCaviar playlist, which currently has nearly 9 million followers. According to Billboard, he’ll be moving to YouTube, just as that company is getting ready to launch its new music streaming service, dubbed Remix.
Basa joined Spotify in April 2015, creating and growing more than a dozen playlists for the company. “I’m blessed with the ability to listen to music before it comes out through dope people in the music community,” he said in an interview last year with Genius. “Spotify also gives me tools to see what people in different cities are streaming, so I like to hop city to city on those tools and listen.”
As Billboard notes, Spotify hasn’t given a reason for Basa’s departure, but it plans to continue building RapCaviar and is planning an upcoming RapCaviar live tour.
Spotify called Basa an “incredible asset” in a statement to Billboard and confirmed that it was going to continue to grow the RapCaviar brand. “The RapCaviar team, which is rapidly expanding with boots on the ground globally, is committed to building the brand and giving its users the best hip-hop experience on the platform,” the statement reads.
News of Basa’s departure comes one day after Spotify filed for an IPO, which revealed that Spotify has struggled to become profitable even as its subscriber numbers have grown.
Update March 2nd, 7:00PM ET: Added news about Basa’s move to YouTube.