Sea-Tac Airport introducing travelers to local music

SEATAC, Wash. -- Sea-Tac Airport is trying to make its atmosphere more festive for travelers by doing away with the anonymous Muzak in favor of local musicians.

Airport officials have tapped some of the area's most famous musicians to kick off a program that gives travelers a chance to hear Seattle music as they enter or leave the airport.

Seattle's own Sir Mix-A-Lot is one of the featured artists. The Grammy award winning MC gained international fame with the 1992 hit "Baby Got Back," which was considered so edgy at the time that he was banned from daytime MTV.

"What was 'the edge' at my peak is now considered mainstream, right?" he said. "You can turn on any show now and butts are everywhere. I love it, more butts."

The times have changed, and Sir Mix-A-Lot is now a revered elder statesman of the Seattle hip hop community. He's also one of the local musicians who airport passengers will hear when they step off their plane at Sea-Tac.

"We not only want to celebrate our heritage, but also the up-and-coming artist," said Port of Seattle Commissioner John Creighton.

Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Jimi Hendrix are among the 150 local artists now playing at the airport, and travelers are already noticing the difference.

"I think music's super important, it creates the ambiance," said traveler Todd Black.

Sea-Tac is one of the few airports in the country with its own music App with downloadable playlists and artist announcements.

"It's cool to see something as serious as Sea-Tac embrace the local arts," said Sir Mix-A-Lot. "It just trips me out. That's pretty bold."

The music program will start with a $25,000 budget funded mostly by the Port of Seattle.