Ghanaian Afrobeats & Afro-fusion singer Gyakie, has become the first African creator to be selected for Spotify’s inaugural class of EQUAL artists. 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 favourite, with its remix featuring Omah Lay not far behind.
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.
Speaking on being the first African to be selected for the prestigious program, Gyakie said she doesn’t take the honour lightly as it is a huge win for women across the continent.
“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.Gyakie
“Navigating an industry, where the voices of women can easily be drowned out, I’m committed to playing my part…with volume,” Gyakie said.
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.
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.”
She also said the streaming service’s goal is to lead by example and 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.
The full Spotify EQUAL Music Program includes EQUAL local playlists with each playlist reflecting its 35 markets spanning over 50 countries. There’s also the EQUAL Global Playlist which will contain music from EQUAL artists from all around the world.
There will also be the EQUAL Artists of the Month as one artist from each participating market will be featured on the cover of their respective, local playlist. The Artists of the Month will be supported with organic and on-platform promotion throughout the Spotify editorial space.
There will also be a Created By Women Playlist which will feature 40 songs 100% written, produced, and performed exclusively by women. And the EQUAL Board, a network of organisations joining forces with Spotify to empower women around the world.
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