Are you a lover of both travel and music? Then entrepreneur Safiya Leslie has something you will love. The 25-year-old is the creator of Safiya’s World Music Playlist, a bi-monthly subscription box that allows you to travel through music as you experience music and culture from countries across the globe.
Based in NYC and Boston, Safiya is a full-time musician, music manager, and booking agent. Born to a Trini mother and a father of African American and Nez Perce descent, Safiya’s background allowed her to grow up experiencing lots of diverse music and culture.
“My parents did a great job of allowing me to explore the world at a young age (18 countries and counting.) As a music lover and budding ethnomusicologist, all my life I’ve seen that music can break down so many walls, biases, and stereotypes about a place. It doesn’t matter if music is just instrumental or in a different language; anyone can relate to it.”
Safiya created her subscription boxes to continue to bring world music and culture to those who love it. Though these boxes allow people to “travel” without ever leaving their house or setting foot on a plane, she hopes to inspire people to see the world and seek out authentic musical and travel experiences.
As someone accustomed to frequently performing live, lockdowns brought on by COVID-19 were hard on Safiya and her fellow musicians. In addition, these creatives took a major hit on their incomes. With the creation of her subscription box, Safiya has been able to support musicians and small businesses affected by the pandemic. Each purchase gives proceeds back to the featured artist and supports small businesses and artisans.
Each box contains a travel guide, Spotify playlist, keychain, and postcards. Other items, such as travel gear and travel items may also be found inside. Past boxes have included a Bluetooth speaker bottle, a Bluetooth selfie stick/stand, waterproof speakers, a movable camera stand, and more.
As for the music portion, a handwritten note from the featured artist is included, along with artist merch, and a USB cassette tape containing high-quality digital downloads of the musician’s music, photos, lyrics, bios, etc.
Destination items may include high-end bags, jewelry sets, home goods, destination snacks and foods, tea/coffee, mugs, keychains, and more.
Safiya’s World Music Playlist boxes are available in three tiers: General Admission($29.99), Bookbag Box ($59.99), and Suitcase box ($130), which comes with a VIP Artist Experience.
Safiya’s World Music Playlist will soon be undergoing a name change. At the end of the year, the company’s name will change to Travel Through Music®. They will be partnering with Sofar Sounds in Boston on July 16 for a surprise show featuring artists from their past boxes, and currently have a residency at The Jungle in Sommerville, MA. You can see Safiya’s and featured musicians from all over the world there every third Saturday of the month from 4 to 7 PM.
“Every month, I aim to bring you all the things I love in your box. What I love about music is that it can transform and bring you to another place. If you listen carefully, you can learn history through the instrumentation and the rhythms of a song.”
“When you hear a new artist and you’re at their show, they tell you the story behind a song. When you travel and you taste new food, it becomes a staple in your recipe book. Or your new favorite piece of jewelry that comes from a small village in Belize. I hope you come on this journey with me on a world music tour from home. Travel through music, here we go!”