I love finding new artists on Spotify to listen to but hate when musicians I don't like keep popping up in recommended playlists and radio stations. For the longest time, there was nothing you could do about it, but now, Spotify lets you block specific bands and singers from ever playing again.
The blocked artist feature seemed to be a response to the overwhelming #MuteRKelly movement to protest and boycott singer R. Kelley's work over his long history of sexual abuse. At first, Spotify merely removed the artist from Spotify-curated playlists and not the service, and it eventually backtracked due to its vague policy language. And that's pretty much how we got artist-blocking abilities.
The blocking feature first appeared on iOS, but now it's available for Android too, and it works the same. To block an artist, tap on their name from a song or open their page from a search. Next, hit the vertical or horizontal ellipsis (•••) icon on an artist's page, then select "Don't play this artist" (iOS) or "Don't play this" (Android).
If you were in the middle of playing a song from the artist and you blocked them, the song will immediately switch to something else by someone else. If on iOS, their page will also clearly show the no sign icon where the "Follow" button used to be, but on Android, there is no clear indicator.
After hiding an artist, they will no longer show up or play in Discover Weekly, Daily Mixes, and radio stations. They'll also disappear from automatically curated playlists, as well as genre, charts, new releases, and even your own custom playlists. However, when a guest collaborator on another artist's track, those will still play, as Spotify only blocks songs from the main artist.
As mentioned, the artist will be hidden from your own custom playlists, but any songs you've liked by the artist will still show up in your "Favorite Songs" playlist. You'll also always be able to search for the artist and view their popular tracks, and they will still appear in your "Recently Played" list until they get pushed out by playing songs from other musicians.
If you change your mind about a singer, rapper, group, etc., you can unblock them. Spotify hasn't included a list anywhere for all of your blocked artists, so open the artist's page via a search or whenever you happen across them. On iOS, you can just tap the no sign to unban them immediately. Otherwise, tap the ellipsis (•••), then choose "Allow to play this artist" (iOS) or "Allow to play this" (Android).
As of right now, you can't block or unblock artists from the Spotify web player or desktop apps. However, any blocks and unblocks you make will sync across platforms. Hopefully, all platforms get the controls, but for now, you'll need to do everything in Spotify's mobile apps.
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