Nikita Gale, an artist living in Los Angeles and the co-host of Medium Rotation, speaks with Alexander Provan about the forces that shape what we listen to and with whom, and how the segregation of cities has been bolstered on the airwaves. They discuss the trajectory from “race records” to so-called Urban songs, and the role of the music industry in determining whose voices are amplified and whose are silenced. The conversation is followed by a reading of “Little Girls,” Gale’s Triple Canopy essay on Tina Turner, Phil Spector. The essay considers “the sound of being together—or of being packed together, forced together,” and asks how Black performers might be heard without being controlled.

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