New partnership uses DNA results to curate music playlist

At-home genealogy test company Ancestry has teamed up with a music streaming service Spotify to determine what the music of your heritage sounds like.

“Tell us which regions you're from based on your AncestryDNA kit results,” the newly launched website says, “and we'll make a playlist out of your heritage.”

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Vineet Mehra, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Ancestry, said, “It’s so much more than the stats and the data and the records. How do we help people experience their culture and not just read about it?

“Music seemed like an obvious way to do that," he said.

Writing for The Atlantic, however, Sarah Zhang argues that culture - especially music - and DNA are not necessarily linked.

“Cultural identity is the sum total" of an individual's experiences Zhang writes.

“DNA alone does not supersede it.”

Rather than a cultural link, the Spotify and Ancestry partnership does appear to focus on a heritage link to music, however tenuous that may be.

In order to curate the playlist online, users need to select which regions their DNA test linked them to. Then, a playlist populates featuring musical acts from the correlating regions.

"The regions in the drop-down menu directly correlate to AncestryDNA results and this specific part of the partnership is geared toward AncestryDNA customers," an Ancestry spokesperson said to Buzzfeed News.

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This unique partnership will “encourage [Ancestry’s] audience to explore the soundtrack of their heritage,” Danielle Lee, global head of partner solutions at Spotify, told Quartz.

When selecting only “Ireland and Scotland” as the region from the available options, a playlist is generated that features Irish music both old and titled Your Heritage Playlist.

Some Irish musicians that appeared in the Ireland and Scotland playlists were U2, Sinead O’Connor, Hudson Taylor, and Bell X1, among others.

While none of the groups appear 'traditional' Irish music, they all trace their roots to Ireland.

What kind of music would your DNA show? Share what you think in the comments!