Spotify recently unveiled its EQUAL hub to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March. Following on from this launch, the leader in all things audio will now expand its global commitment to promoting equity for women in music with its new ‘EQUAL’ programme, which makes its debut this May 2021.
The global initiative is uniquely designed to promote gender equity in music. Only 1 in 5 artists in the charts is a woman. Speaking about the initiative, Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music in sub-Saharan Africa, said, « Spotify is prioritising its goal to lead by example, joining hands with African music industry players with the means and platform to help elevate the next generation of women in the music industry to new heights. »
Spotify’s inaugural class of EQUAL artists, which launches the programme, includes Ghanaian Afrobeats and Afro-fusion singer Gyakie, real name Jackline Acheampong, who is the first African creative to be selected. The 20-year-old singer, who recently released her debut EP ‘Seed’, has not only gained popularity in Ghana, but also in Nigeria and Kenya where her single ‘Forever’ is a fan favourite, with its remix featuring Omah Lay.
« 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 around the world. I don’t take this lightly at all. Navigating an industry where women’s voices can easily be silenced, I’m committed to playing my part… with volume, » says Gyakie.
Other female artists selected for the inaugural class include American rapper Saweetie, Brazilian pop artist Duda Beat, British singer-songwriter Griff, Mexican Natalia Lafourcad and German singer Zoe Wees.