Earlier this month, Swedish audio streaming platform, Spotify, launched its EQUAL Pakistan destination on the occasion of International Women’s Day (IWD). We saw that Spotify’s Instagram page was updated with a message from Arooj Aftab, who is the artist of the month.
Spotify listeners around the country have stirred multiple conversations about what this entails for women musicians of the country and today we are going to give you a detailed guide on what EQUAL Pakistan is all about!
EQUAL – A Program by Spotify
The EQUAL program was launched by Spotify to amplify women’s voices on its platform. The destination is a step towards extending the right resources and creating the much-needed impactful opportunities for women artists. EQUAL focuses on highlighting different women artists across different countries and offers a number of destinations to fans to access their favorite women artists’ music from rock, indie to Bollywood and more.
As part of the promotional activities being conducted by Spotify, EQUAL program is also providing an opportunity for one female singer to be selected as each country’s EQUAL Ambassador. This means that the Ambassador also gets to be featured on NYC Times Square’s Billboard! We are more excited about this news as this is perhaps the first time a Pakistani musician will ever make it to that spot of Times Square and that fact alone has doubled our excitement already.
So how can you reach the EQUAL platform? Well, to do that you need to log in to your Spotify app or web browser, click on the Search tab and scroll down on the list appearing to find the Equal album.
EQUAL Pakistan – The Destination!
Pakistani women artists have entranced audiences with their music for many years. We have names like ‘The Queen of Melody’ Madam Noor Jehan, or the powerful Sufi singer Abida Parveen, who can never be forgotten for the work that they have done for taking Pakistan’s music beyond borders. Spotify’s EQUAL Pakistan is a step ahead in that direction, as a dedicated platform that aims at highlighting the beauty of female voices and women artists at a global level.
Apart from the EQUAL Pakistan playlist, the platform boasts other playlists such as Women of Coke Studio, This is Abida Parveen and This is Noor Jehan; featuring a range of different genres, artists and giving us an equal taste between old as well as new music.
Some of the unique artists we found on EQUAL Pakistan destination include, Zahra Paracha, Wooly and the Uke, Annural Khalid, Maria Unera and Amna Riaz, the names that may not have found their voice among masses but the names that surely need to be recognized at a mass level for their extraordinary talent and the work that they done for the music industry of Pakistan.
The support and encouragement we can provide to our women artists cannot be provided by anyone else. It is a need of the hour to equip our women with adequate facilities to boost their careers and give them the encouragement they have always desired. We reached out to Rutaba Yaqub – Spotify’s Music Manager to get her thoughts on the EQUAL program and how she thought it benefitted Pakistani artists; this is our favorite part from our conversation with her:
“The future is woman. We will continue to rise and our voices will be heard. We are thrilled to bring EQUAL to Pakistan, not only to honor our women creators but to help them get discovered by fans all over the globe, from Japan to New Zealand. We are here to be part of our creators’ journeys from the moment they submit their music to our platform, to playlisting them to seeing their faces in global landmarks like Times Square. Through it all we are deepening their connection with their fans.”
Spotify has entered Pakistan at a time when the music industry was just beginning to lift off, providing a much-needed platform for young and emerging artists, the Swedish audio streaming platform has filled a vacuum of needed infrastructure for artists rising across the country. With this program oriented for women artists, the global platform has opened up a variety of prospects for Pakistani women musicians.