Sunday July 21, 2024

Spotify Talks: Pakistani female artists discuss self-expression and finding a new audience

By Maheen Sabeeh
October 12, 2022

Karachi:Spotify, the music streaming app with billions of songs, has been showing its interest in the Pakistani music realm. One of its initiatives is EQUAL, meant to showcase the body of work by female artists from around the country and beyond.

Four ambassadors of this initiative (Natasha Baig, Momina Mustehsan, Zoha Zuberi and Rutaba Yakub), as part of Spotify Talks, spoke about their experiences to host Anoushey Ashraf, earlier this month.

During the 60-minute episode, Rutaba Yakub, who is also Spotify’s Music Manager for Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka shared what the EQUAL initiative can mean for the women musicians it focuses on.

“Women artists added to our EQUAL Pakistan playlist are 20 times more likely to get discovered by a new fan. We are seeing fans listening to EQUAL Pakistan from the US, UK, Canada, Saudi Arabia and India,” she said.

Zoha Zuberi noted how it opened a door for self-expression. “For me, music was always about how I felt, and it was nothing else. So, I wrote down my feelings, composed what I wrote, and I just wanted to share that with the world like a personal diary that you are putting out there. As an introverted child, I had nothing else to communicate with - I only had music,” she shared.

The artists featured in the first episode also reflected on the necessity of educational avenues for the younger generation as well as the value of collaborations.

To the last subject, Anoushey Ahsraf adds, “This generation of musicians is more open to collaboration. It’s amazing to see Meesha Shafi and Atif Aslam collaborating with younger generations of musicians. They’ve decided to evolve instead of rejecting the idea of collaboration.”

After the discussion came to a close, Natasha Baig performed a rendition of her song, ‘Wajood-e-Zan’. We’re betting there is more to this initiative than one discussion. But until a second episode emerges, listen to this for insight into the experiences of female musicians and how Spotify has opened the door to a global audience.

– To listen to the complete “women in music” episode, head over to Spotify now.