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Spotify celebrates Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Titled Our Roots. Our Sound., Spotify this month launched a new campaign to empower Asian American and Pacific Islander artists and to mark AAPI Heritage Month .

Toro Y Moi

According to Billboard, Spotify’s new campaign features playlists, podcasts, and artists from a diversity of Asian backgrounds.

Playlists include Beast Meets West, which celebrates the month by highlighting AAPI artists, such as Toro y Moi, NIKI, SATICA, Yaeji, Yuna, Joji and Jhené Aiko, and No Borders, which honors artists of all genres from the South Asian Diaspora, including Joy Crookes, Raveena, and Mickey Singh.

Our Roots. Our Sound. also features podcasts that explore the nuances of AAPI identities, cultures, people, and histories.

The podcast Not Your Average Mai, hosted by four Hmong American women, addresses critical issues, such as the mistreatment of Asians during the COVID-19 pandemic, lack of AAPI representation, and strict immigration policies.

“Visibility and inclusivity are more important than ever for Asian communities, and we’re proud to support the amazing talent that represents the incredible diversity and art that comes from Asian American and Pacific Islander creators,” Marian Dicus, co-head of music at Spotify said in a statement.

Many AAPI artists are acknowledging Spotify’s campaign by stressing the importance of increasing visibility for AAPIs in the music industry, media, and creative fields.

Anik Khan

“This is important for me because it’s time we normalize Asian American creators and the art that comes from our communities. I’m taking part in this for that kid out there that looks like me to show them that it’s possible,” Bengali American rapper Anik Khan said in an exclusive interview with Billboard.

AAPIs have been historically underrepresented in mainstream American music. Singer and producer Z.Woods believes that this is partly due to popular stereotypes that illustrate Asians as nerdy, he said in an interview with Bustle. Woods feels that these stereotypes clash with the industry’s vision of a successful music artist, which reduces the marketability of Asian artists.

“Through this hub and our other initiatives celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we are able to spotlight the rich culture that makes our communities so vibrant and authentic this month and year-long,” Dicus said.

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