Joshua “J1” Raiford is currently the director of Hip Hop at Pandora and now also the Program Director for SiriusXM Pandora Now; channel 3. Previously Raiford was Head of Hip Hop with Pandora in Atlanta, Georgia.
Raiford also had a hands-on impact during this past year bringing awareness to equality, voting, and the impact of Covid 19. Billboard stated “Raiford made monetary donations matched by the company to organizations “geared toward helping Black people”, such as Morehouse College”.
In this new role Director of Hip Hop at Pandora and Program Director for SiriusXM Pandora Now Raiford will be responsible for all hip hop streaming, programming and playlisting on Pandora as well as overseeing the programming and imaging of the station.
Raiford graduated from Morehouse with a B.A. in Business, Marketing, Management, and Related Support Services. He then went on to obtain his Masters in Marketing and an M.B.A from Georgia State University. Raiford began his career with Urban One where he started as a Programming Assistant/On-Air Talent with WHTA Hot 107.9. He then moved on to become Program Director in Indianapolis and Washington D.C before returning back to Atlanta, Georgia to begin his journey with Pandora.
“I’m blessed and grateful for this opportunity” stated Raiford. “My career started in terrestrial radio, so I’ll always have a love and passion for it. When I made the decision to go to Pandora, it was about me wanting to learn about streaming, how it worked, and the differences and similarities between it and radio. Now I have the chance to program on both sides at the same time. Very thankful to SiriusXM Pandora for trusting me with this huge responsibility.”
In his short tenure with Pandora J1 changed the Urban landscape by creating new and exclusive content series such as “The SiriusXM Pandora Playback,” “New Music Friday Top 3” and “The Connect 4 Convo.” He also created one of the biggest stations/playlists for Hip Hop and R&B “Top Shelf,” which has over 5 million listeners. In July 2020, J1 successfully helped program and launch “Uninterrupted Radio” on Pandora in partnership with LeBron James and Maverick Carter.