Spotify recently unveiled its EQUAL hub in celebration of International Women’s Day. On the heels of this launch, the leader in all things audio will now extend its global commitment to fostering equity for women in music with its new EQUAL Music Program debuting today.
The global initiative is uniquely designed to foster gender equity in music by adapting and extending the cumulative blueprint of Spotify’s successful programs into a cohesive experience – supporting female creators under one brand. Only 1 in 5 artists in the charts are women, a stark contrast to how integral women’s influence is to Spotify’s success today and the music industry at large. Spotify takes the responsibility of upending these disparities seriously, and believes the first step towards amplifying the work of all creators identifying as women is to extend critical resources to this community to create opportunity.
Speaking on the initiative, Phiona Okumu, Spotify Head of Music Sub-Saharan Africa said, “In a time where we as a society are re-examining equity on so many levels, Spotify is prioritising its goal to make female faces and voices seen and heard. Our goal is to lead by example, joining hands with the African music industry stakeholders with the means and platform to help elevate the next generation of women in the music industry to deserving new heights.”
Spotify’s inaugural class of EQUAL artists kicking off the program includes Ghanaian Afrobeats & Afro-fusion singer Gyakie, who is the first African creator to be selected for the program. The 20-year-old singer who recently released her debut EP ‘Seed’ has not only gained popularity in Ghana but in Nigeria and Kenya where her single ‘Forever’, is a chart-topping fan favorite, with its remix featuring Omah Lay not far behind.
“I am deeply honoured to be the first African woman to partner with Spotify for EQUAL. This is huge for so many women across the continent and the entire globe. I don’t take this lightly at all. Navigating an industry, where the voices of women can easily be drowned out, I’m committed to playing my part…with volume,” says Gyakie on her inclusion in the program.
Other female artists selected for the inaugural class include American rapper Saweetie, Brazillian pop artist DUDA BEAT, British singer-songwriter Griff, Mexico’s Natalia Lafourcade and German singer Zoe Wees – Global Artist of the Month.
The full program includes:
- EQUAL local playlists: Each playlist will reflect the 35 markets spanning over 50 countries – from Japan to Argentina, from the UK to Ghana.
- EQUAL Global Playlist: The “best-of” flagship playlist will contain music from EQUAL artists from all around the world, as the ultimate listening experience amplifying the EQUAL class of each month beyond borders.
- EQUAL Artists of the Month: One artist from each participating market will be featured on the cover of their respective, local playlist.
- Artist marketing: Each EQUAL Artist of the Month will be supported with organic and on-platform promotion throughout the Spotify editorial space – which has proven to propel significant growth on platform in both artists’ home countries and beyond.
- Created By Women Playlist: The co-branded EQUAL + NOTEABLE playlist is the first of its kind, which will feature 40 songs 100% written, produced, and performed exclusively by women songwriters, producers, and artists from around the world. The new playlist will give fans a new dedicated place to discover music from a host of talented creators with diverse perspectives.
EQUAL Board: A network of organisations joining forces with Spotify to empower women around the world including: She’s the Music (US), Girls Rock Australia Network (Australia), She Said So (Italy), MEWEM Europa (Europe), Girls Connected (Canada), Music Women (Germany).
- EQUAL Directory re-launch: Spotify is partnering with SoundGirls, to relaunch the EQUAL Directory, formally EQL Directory. The Directory allows women of all experiences and gender nonconforming creators to create a profile and claim their space in the community of women changing the game in audio. You can search The EQUAL Directory by region and audio discipline to find suitable candidates to hire for your next tours and events, studio projects, film and TV production, game audio, post production, podcasts, and more.
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Spotify in numbers: Over 356 million monthly active users / Over 158 million subscription users / Over 70m songs in the catalogue / Over 4 billion playlists available / Available across 178 markets