When the national lockdown was announced, no one could have imagined that nearly 17 months later we would still be navigating life in a global pandemic. Over this period, many have single-handedly had to learn how to traverse what may become some of the greatest challenges they will ever have to face. However, amongst the chaos has also risen a sense of self with many people using the opportunity to reflect and conduct somewhat of a ‘life audit’ allowing them to reflect and regroup on those things most important to them.
Finding a sense of purpose and remaining confidently grounded in who and what we are, are themes that have grown in interest over the period. This is most evident in the types of podcast content that has found favour amongst Spotify’s local female listeners who have turned to motivation, self-care and self-improvement themed podcasts to keep them inspired.
Based on the most popular podcasts currently streamed by women locally on Spotify, Jay Shetty’s series of conversations with inspirational guests in ‘On Purpose with Jay Shetty’ and ‘The Mindset Mentor’ by Rob Dial whose philosophy ‘when you master your mindset you master your life’ are both ideal examples of motivating content for anyone seeking direction and focus.
There has also been gravitation towards women-led podcasts, with women empowering women by drawing inspiration from podcasts such as Oprah’s ‘Super Soul’ which encourages listeners to awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around us. Additional popular choices include ‘The Self Love Fix’ by Beatrice Kamau who targets predominantly women of colour to delve into developing greater self-love and self-esteem by addressing the obstacles they face and ‘Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain’ whose frank open observations are a refreshing take on topics ranging from job loss to grief, which have been topical throughout the pandemic, to peace and purpose.
Giving a Voice to Female Creators
The past year has also brought challenges to the music community with creators facing less opportunities for them to showcase their craft. This has compounded the already existing trials faced by female creators, highlighting the need for greater support.
To give female creators a voice, Spotify launched the EQUAL Music Program, a platform dedicated solely to shining a spotlight on women artists and podcast creators both locally and internationally.
Since the launch of EQUAL earlier this year, Spotify has added three African female artists to the roster including Ghanaian Afrobeats and Afro-fusion singer Gyakie, Rwandan-Ugandan jazz singer and songwriter Somi and Moroccan singer, songwriter and composer Rhita Nattah.
Now, Spotify has announced Sylvia Saru, popularly known as Ssaru, as the latest artist to join the program. At just 19 years old, the Kenyan-born rapper and singer-songwriter is the youngest artist in the EQUAL program and one of the first women to venture into Kenya’s popular Gengetone genre. Ssaru, who made her mark in the industry after her freestyles went viral, currently features on Spotify’s flagship playlist Gengetone Fire that highlights the hottest artists and tracks of the genre coming out of Kenya.
Ssaru joins the program’s stellar roster of creators who will be spotlighted through global partnerships, activations, new content experiences, and on-and-off platform support.
This Women’s Month, Spotify continues to support and celebrate all its female creators across the platform and on Spotify’s EQUAL Hub, offering playlists such as Women of R&B featuring the past and present queens of R&B, Women of the Blues and more.