“Maroon 5 keyboardist PJ Morton launches trivia show celebrating black art”
June 3, 2020 | 8:16pm
PJ Morton — keyboardist for the pop-rock group behind such hits as “Makes Me Wonder,” “Girls Like You” and “Memories” — launches “The Culture,” a new trivia show celebrating black art, every Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST on YouTube.
The livestreamed series will kick off by quizzing the Roots’ Questlove and the co-hosts of his “Questlove Supreme” podcast, Laiya St. Clair and Phonte.
Morton began touring with Maroon 5 in 2010 and became an official member of the group in 2012. “I was in South America [touring] with Maroon 5 when the quarantine hit,” he tells The Post. “The quarantine gave me a second to just take a break and look and feel what this was. I felt like we all needed a breather and something a little different. I’m big on disruption.”
Morton found some inspiration from outside of the music world. “I saw Steph Curry doing some NBA trivia with some NBA players,” he says, “and I was like, ‘Man, that would be cool if we did like an R&B version of that.’ ”
Then Morton reached out to Essence magazine, and they collaborated on a series of three R&B trivia shows last month on Facebook Live with guests such as JoJo, Tank and BJ the Chicago Kid.
But he didn’t want to stop when that ended, so then came “The Culture.” “I wanted to expand it past just R&B, past just music, to celebrate black culture in general,” says Morton.
Now “The Culture” is debuting as Black Music Month kicks off — and as the Black Lives Matter movement intensifies in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“When all of this stuff happened right now, because it’s so heavy, I was like, ‘Aw, man, we don’t need to be playing a game show,’ ” says Morton. “But that’s exactly what we need to be doing, in the sense of shining light on this beautiful culture that we created and kept up for so many years. We have been the leader in the culture creatively for so many years. It’s the perfect time to shine that light. I don’t think it’s celebrated enough.”
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