Spotify has teamed up with prominent Filipina
creators to promote their voices and stories in honor of Women’s Month. These
Filipinas produce sophisticated and bright music, lyrics, and vocals; Spotify
supports women in audio through its playlists and programs all year round.
Female musicians have together gotten close to
half a billion streams through Spotify’s EQUAL, a year-round effort devoted to
women in music, during their first month of joining the program. While Pinay Voices highlights
podcasts from producers like Paano Kung…, Let’s Pretend It’s 2AM, and Free Yourself Podcast,
ed nearly half a billion
streams within their first month of joining the program. EQUAL Philippines
promotes musicians like the top-charting singer-songwriter mrld and the Cebuana rapper Karencitta. These
pioneering Filipina audio makers’ opinions are exclusively revealed by Spotify.
Boundaries through Audio
Filipino women’s bravery and tenacity have
helped to diversify the creative environment. For some people, following their
dreams entails motivating others to improve upon themselves. Meriel de Jesus,
better known as mrld and the voice
of popular songs like “Ligaya” and “Ikaw Pa Rin,” discussed how
perseverance was a need in her journey as a developing artist. “I remember
sitting up late, researching how I might convey my skill to the world,”
Being a creator required Ria Ramirez of Let’s Pretend It’s 2AM to overcome her self-doubt.
“I thought about starting a podcast, but I was hesitant to take the
plunge. Yet the people around me helped me to see that I had a voice that
needed to be heard.
Other voices in the field are driven by passion and purpose to
inspire others. “It’s a powerful feeling because you can make a huge imprint
onto someone’s life instantly,” said EQUAL ambassador Karen Ann “Karencitta” Cabrera-Caballero, who famously made waves
with the release of her debut song “Cebuana” which proudly champions her Bisaya
Gayle de Chavez of Free Yourself Podcast creates content
with the hope of inspiring others. “I enjoy being a creator, pursuing the
things that I love, and at the same time helping people love themselves.”
Technology Powering Gender Equity
Beyond the drive to thrive, these inspiring Filipinas leveraged
technology as a partner in their creative journey.
Spotify EQUAL artist
who started recording her own music at the age of 13 and now has over 220,000
monthly listeners on Spotify, shared that she learned through exploring tech
with many trials and errors. Radio DJ and Creator of Paano Kung… podcast Joelle shared, “I am grateful that
technology and a platform as special as Spotify enables us to share our stories
more openly and find other people who inspire us!”
mrld highlighted how Spotify helped her
flourish on the local and global stage. “Through Spotify, a lot of people were
able to discover my craft, and it paved the way for me as a female artist.
EQUAL is very uplifting as it gives the spotlight to female artists.”
Although platforms and initiatives have unlocked a wealth of
opportunities, the journey for female creators is not without its challenges.
Joelle opens up. “I feel the challenge when I
have to double or triple check what I say just to make sure it’s right. I’ve
been afraid to speak up because people would talk over me, or make me feel like
my feelings and thoughts weren’t valid.” mrld
also noted how there is room to give more visibility for women in the creative
At the same time, creators express their optimism and
appreciation for the positive changes in the industry. “Nowadays, I think there
is a space for both men and women to create freely,” Ria points out.
Unlocking the Creator in Everyone
Spotify Creators, Joelle, Ria, and Gayle, mrld and Karencitta,
share their advice with the hopes of inspiring young Filipinos out there.
- Celebrate Individuality and Authenticity
ambassadormrld: “Always believe in yourself. No one is
going to be there for you till the end except yourself. So don’t be too hard on
yourself and continue to trust the process.”
- EQUAL ambassador Karencitta: “Kung bisag asa pa ta e butang sa kalibutan, di gyud
natu malimtan ang Filipino traditions and values. Ayaw kalimot kung asa ka
gikan. E taas gyud na ang bandila.”
- Embrace Vulnerability
- Ria of Let’s Pretend It’s 2AM: “There’s no need to hide the broken parts
of yourself because it is in this brokenness that you have grown to be who you
are. Let that process not only inspire you but others too.”
- Joelle of Paano Kung…: “It can be scary for anyone to be
vulnerable, but the exciting possibilities in opening up and connecting with
others outweigh the fear. I get to do this now, because the younger me took a
chance, opened her heart, continued to hope and try, despite the uncertainty,
fear, and worries.”
- Invest in Oneself
- Gayle of Free Yourself Podcast: “Continue investing in yourself and being
curious about everything. Don’t seek validation in the form of other people’s
opinions, and don’t be afraid to speak your mind and your truth.”
ambassador Karencitta: “Embrace learning”
Keen to discover and support female creators? Tune in to Spotify’s EQUAL hub and Pinay Voices.