Ancestry DNA results can be turned into Spotify music playlists


Spotify users can now integrate Ancestry DNA results with the music streaming service to create genetics-based playlists that include music from the cultures of their ancestors.


If you’ve taken an Ancestry genealogy test, you’ve already used DNA from your saliva to learn all about your genetic heritage.

And now you can also listen to this legacy.

That’s the promise of a new service from Spotify, which promises to help users of the music streaming service “discover their musical DNA”. Music lovers simply log into their Ancestry account and choose to connect it to Spotify, according to the genealogy company.

The Ancestry webpage promoting Playlists offers a preview of what’s in store.

Are you Swedish? You could get ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’ or Robyn’s newer ‘Dancing On My Own’ or Zara Larsson’s ‘Lush Life’ – all Swedish.

Users of Korean ancestry might get K-pop singer Sunmi’s song “Heroine,” or hits from boy band BTS.

The Middle Eastern genes will give users songs like “Djin”, by Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila, or songs by Palestinian artist Jowan Safadi.

“How can we help people learn about their culture and not just read about it?” asked Vineet Mehra, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Ancestry, according to Quartz. “Music seemed like an obvious way to do that.”

Mehra added that Ancestry’s DNA testing offers “much more than statistics, data and records” – and that includes a connection to the culture associated with users’ newly discovered heritage, Quartz reports.

Danielle Lee, Spotify’s global head of partner solutions, said the new service is intended to “encourage [Ancestry’s] audience to explore the soundtrack of their heritage,” according to Quartz.

Not everyone who has used the service has been blown away by the results.

Ashley Reese, writer for Jezebel, plugged her Ancestry results into Spotify and said she was excited about Malian singer Oumou Sangaré’s “Diaraby Nene.” The other African music the playlist curated for her was “pretty interesting,” Reese wrote.

But the British Isles selections were a disappointment, Reese said, pointing to songs like Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocket Full of Sunshine” and a Duffy song (“Damn, remember Duffy?”)

“The UK is considered the birthplace of some of the most exciting trends in music, and all I got was a pocketful of sunshine?” said Reese.

After the service went public last week, Mehra said thousands of people have already signed up, according to Quartz.

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George L. Hernandez