ListN Up: Cleo Reed (October 29, 2021)

ListN Up is a weekly series of artist-curated playlists that offer an intimate sonic portrait of contemporary artists by showcasing the diverse and stylistically varied music that influences their creative practice. 

Cleo Reed is a student of Black underground sound named after Cleophus, her great grandmother and a fellow Aquarius. She reaches deeply into her own lineage and uses it as a reference for her work in the production and design of soundscapes, compositions, and popular music works, in addition to mixing, mastering, and editing her own music and visuals.

Hi, My name is Cleo Reed, and I am a multi-instrumentalist, electronic composer, and singer out of New York City. My playlist is really just focused on queerness and femininity, and also the origins of electronic music in relation to women from just about the 70s to now. I’m really excited that I got to curate this for you all. Thank you to ListN Up for having me. Have an amazing day!

“BB” by Shygirl

Shygirl is a master of tension and appeal, and the sonic worlds she creates and supports with iconic visuals inspires me deeply.

“Tales By Moonlight” by Tiwa Savage feat. Amaarae

I love this song’s unique and modern storytelling. This beat was also gorgeously created and mixed.

“Goat Head” by Brittany Howard

“Goat Head” brings me to tears most times. Raw beyond perception.


Hawa is incredibly talented and works with amazing producers. I love how this song and visual affirms my Blackness and my womanhood.

Live church service featuring Dr. Mattie Moss Clark

This live church service audio and video have affected the way I sing and tell my stories forever. A special thank you to my mother for introducing me to the autonomous and unique Clark Sisters.

“i’ma get you” by duendita

duendita channels a particular feeling that I feel after I’ve fallen completely apart and need to be put back together. I can’t ever skip past this song when it comes up on my phone.

“Negus Poem 1 & 2” by KeiyaA

This production is so eloquent and reminds me of home. I feel safe and able to share my deepest fears every time I hear it.

“I must apologise” by PinkPantheress

This song is incredibly produced and it just feels amazing. Lyrics are beautiful, as well. I love the sound design!

“Physical” by Pretty Sick

Pretty Sick was a band I was a part of in high school. This recent work feels vulnerable and surrealist. Thank you, Sab <3.

“Formwela 2” by Esperanza Spalding, feat. Ganavya Doraiswamy

This entire EP has served as a spiritual reset for me when I need one. I love meditating with this song playing.


I CARE IF YOU LISTEN is an editorially-independent program of the American Composers Forum, funded with generous donor and institutional support. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and may not represent the views of ICIYL or ACF. 

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