Fox Tales - a music industry podcast by Stereofox podcast

Stephan Kunze on Curating Zen Sounds, Deep Listening Habits, the German Lofi Hip Hop Scene and his Journey as a Journalist and Editor at Spotify

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Stephan Kunze is a German music journalist and author, radio host, editor and curator with over 20 years of experience.

He currently curates Zen Sounds - a newsletter dedicated on ambient, jazz and experimental music. Stephan’s colourful experience - from print to radio and now digital streaming makes him really interesting and multi-layered guest.

Previously Stephan was Global Editorial Lead at Spotify, had his own imprint (Heart Working Class), consultant for Red Bull, editor-in-chief for the German hip hop magazine Juice, and writer for Berlin-based Spex (to name a few).


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Podcast notes

[01:50] intro, earliest music memories and buying records in the 90s

[06:10] degree in law and first writing experiences for SPEX and Juice

[09:10] music journalism in the 2000s and interviewing Pharrell Williams and working at Juice

[14:50] curating a newsletter (Zen Sounds) vs running a magazine or curating editorial playlists at Spotify

[19:00] switching Zen Sounds to English

[22:15] staying consistent and motivated when it comes to creating content

[23:40] Living in Berlin, the Pandemic, and staying balanced

[29:10] the Deep Listening philosophy and impact on life

[33:10] building listening habits as a listener and Spotify playlist editor

[36:50] today’s consumption of music and art and the future of the attention economy in mainstream media

[38:45] how to build a career and audience as an artist and be successful on Spotify and the state of lofi music

[42:30] singles vs albums when it comes to lofi hip hop

[45:20] the story and growth of the German hip hop beat scene

[49:40] Stephan path’s in Spotify and the evolution / creation of editorial playlists

[52:10] the culture of lofi hip hop

[54:45] are music publications still relevant, social media and does audience size matters

[1:06:20] 2022 end-of-year lists, the Zen Sounds newsletter, and future plans

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