Spotify Launches New Music Initiative

Music is a universal language that transcends space, time and location.

Spotify_logo_vertical_blackBy Spotify – Perszone van Spotify, Public Domain,

After a number of court battles, United States President Donald Trump has finally been able to enact his travel ban aimed at six predominantly Muslim nations. Music artists from those countries have joined forces with their counterparts in the U.S. and the online streaming service Spotify for a new series called “I’m With the Banned”.


Desiigner, Pusha T. Sam Harris of the X Ambassadors, K. Flay, BJ the Chicago Kid, and Dr. Lonnie Smith from Blue Note have joined up with Iran’s DJ and producer Kasra V, Syrian singer songwriter Moh Flow, Somalians Waayaha Cusub, Yemeni singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Methal, Sudanese producer and beatmaker Sufyvn and Libian singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ahmed Fakroun for the new initiative.

Record producers The Stereotypes, Doc McKinney, and Matty Tavares; along with songwriters Clarence Coffee Jr., and E. Kidd Bogart are also a part of the project.

The initiative addresses a number of current topics including immigration and LGBTQ issues.

Speaking on the new program, Spotify’s chief marketing officer Seth Farbman said, “throughout history, artists have sought to give voices to those who are not being heard. Their music has created understanding and community during times when it has been in short supply — civil rights, unpopular wars, all-too-frequent moments of social and personal grief. ‘I’m With the Banned’ is an idea that was born from the culture of our times and one we hope will remind us of the power of music to bring people together and ease our pain. What politics can’t seem to mend, maybe music can.”

A documentary that was filmed in Toronto providing each artist’s story will be released later in the year.

The first group of songs available on Spotify are:
“Justify You” by Kasra V with K. Flay
“Options” by Moh Flow with Pusha T
“Durbaan Ka li Tuma” by Waayaha Cusub with Desiigner
“Cycles” by Methal with Sam Harris and the X Ambassadors
“Thinking ‘Bout You (Sleepless in Cairo)” by Sufynv with BJ The Chicago Kid
“Salam” by Ahmed Fakroun with Dr. Lonnie Smith

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