Some staggering stats have come to light from research recently gathered by Spotify, the world’s largest audio platform. Spotify found that there was a profound lack of female Arab representation in the music industry — even here in the MENA region.
“Around 60% of aspiring female artists believe that their potential is limited by stigmas associated with women in the music industry,” according to the study, which also shed light on the issue that female artists made up less than 13% of Arab artists signed by MENA-based labels in the past five years.
In a new initiative called SAWTIK, meaning “make your voice heard,” Spotify is amplifying the voices of 16 emerging, unsigned, female, Arab artists here in the MENA region under the mentorship of Latifa. “Female Arab artists continue to fight stereotypes and other barriers in the pursuit of their musical passions, and the research from Spotify confirms this,” said the renowned musician. “My journey hasn’t happened without its challenges and while I enjoy a successful career, there are many others still waiting for the right opportunity to shine. With SAWTIK, female artists have a powerful platform to showcase their talent and connect with audiences who will love their music across all genres. I am excited to extend my support to these artists and help them see a real lift in their careers.”
In order to elevate these voices and connect them to new and existing audiences, Spotify has created a SAWTIK playlist, which will be taking over established playlists like the popular Arab Hip-Hop and Arab X channels. The latter channel was responsible for bringing to the mainstream such artists as Egyptian rapper Felukah and Canadian-Moroccan soul singer Faouzia, who just released her new single, ‘Minefields’, with John Legend.
Additionally, Spotify has dedicated its social channels to the SAWTIK artists for the next 48 hours as well as female visual artists who have created bespoke pieces celebrating female empowerment.
But Spotify won’t stop at this first initiative. In the following months, the company has also pledged to host several activities supporting emerging female artists from the region, including a female-only masterclass to educated female creators on how to market their music successfully and utilize Spotify For Artists.
To be considered for the SAWTIK program, email firstname.lastname@example.org.