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.
Breaking 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,” she said.
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 roots.
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 Karencitta, 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 field.
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
- EQUAL 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.”
- EQUAL ambassador Karencitta: “Embrace learning”
Keen to discover and support female creators? Tune in to Spotify’s EQUAL hub and Pinay Voices.