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Spotify Debuts GLOW, an Equity Program for LGBTQIA+ Creators


The LGBTQIA community has greatly influenced music, and both music and culture have long been moved by the community in return. As more and more artists feel empowered to share their authentic selves onstage and off, the power and influence of queer creators grow as guiding forces across culture.

Today, Spotify introduces GLOW, a new global music program celebrating and amplifying LGBTQIA artists and creators. It's our latest initiative to support people of this historically marginalized community of voices and reassert our commitment to equity in audio. It ensures that queer creators, and their contributions to music and culture, are heard and honored year-round.

Putting LGBTQIA artists front and center GLOW is supported by an on- and off-platform ecosystem where LGBTQIA artists and users are authentically represented and meaningfully included.

The GLOW hub will serve as a dedicated space on Spotify to highlight audio offerings of LGBTQIA voices for queer listeners and allies.

Our Global flagship playlist, GLOW, will refresh monthly and highlight tracks by LGBTQIA artists.

Throughout the year, we'll amplify 11 artists from around the world within the GLOW hub, on billboards across the U.S., and in even more ways.

Our 360 program provides editorial and partnership capabilities, marketing support, and charitable giving to organizations like QORDS, Astrea, Black Trans Femmes In The Arts, ChamberQueer, Allgo, It Gets Better, Youth Music, and Casa Chama.

At launch, we'll be working with 11 amazing artists: Bruses, Jean Seizure, Leland, Liniker, Natalia Lacunza, Arlo Parks, Joesef, Pabllo Vittar, Sam Smith, Tove Lo, and Villano Antillano.

All in, GLOW will streamline and heighten the support Spotify has provided through our annual global Pride activations. It will be available in 50 markets across Europe, India, Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, the Nordics, and Southeast Asia.

To launch, we're hosting LGBTQIA artists and songwriters at the Spotify At Mateo office in LA, including jesse saint john, who has written for Britney Spears, Lizzo, and Kim Petras; JHart, who has written for Troye Sivan, 5SOS, and Little Mix; Ilsey, who has written for Panic! at the Disco, Miley Cyrus, Mark Ronson, and Harry Styles); and INK, who has written for Beyonc , Leon Bridges, and Lil Nas X. The attendees will participate in three days of writing sessions aimed at celebrating and inspiring collaboration among creators in the LGBTQIA community.

We recognize the power of our platform to elevate, uplift, and spotlight voices that have been historically marginalized, and we're committed to using it to drive cultural change. GLOW is supported by Spotify's Creator Equity Fund as the latest part of our ongoing commitment to fostering equity in the audio space. By providing equitable resources to queer artists on a global level, GLOW is another way we're working to create greater equity, empathy, and representation for the LGBTQIA community. We work closely with our partners at GLAAD and others to ensure GLOW best represents LGBTQIA artists and listeners in authentic and meaningful ways.

Meet the team behind GLOW The backbone of GLOW is Spotify employees who are passionate about music, artist empowerment, and above all else, their queer community.

Lisa Ritchey, she/her, Manager, Artist Partnership Team What is your role in bringing GLOW to life? I am a manager on our newly formed Artist Partnerships Team, but I've been in this type of role for the past three years. I currently work across pop, dance, and indie, finding ways that we can bring Spotify into the entirety of an artist's career outside of a record cycle-touring, festivals, merchandise, integrating artists into campaigns within those genres and our playlists-finding new and creative ways to partner together with artists.

I've worked on Spotify's Pride campaign for the past three years. I came in and was very, very passionate about LGBTQIA artists and how we can better serve that community and the fan base. After working on Pride, I started working on what would be an evergreen program very similar to Frequency or EQUAL with a colleague (the Head of Rock on our Editorial Team, Laura Ohls). We started working on this probably two years ago and in that time, the team has grown exponentially, become more robust, and received a lot of support company-wide.

Why is GLOW important to you? I, along with the majority of the community, am very weary and skeptical of corporatized Pride. If a company is going to show up in June, they have to show up throughout the year. Where this program is amazing is that its sole purpose is to support the community on- and off-platform year-round. The way that we are showing up in this program also feels different-we're supporting these artists because of who they are holistically. These are artists who are doing incredible things and they just so happen to be queer.

Who are some queer artists or cultural icons who have inspired you? In the '90s it was hard to find robust queer representation, and you had icons like Elton John and George Michael, so when The xx showed up and I found out that Romy and Oliver from The xx were both queer, it kinda blew my mind and it was the first time that I felt seen. St. Vincent was pretty huge for me and really made me understand myself more in college. Frank Ocean-truly, his tumblr coming-out letter, I want to get it framed and put it up in my house because that was so huge not only to me, but to music and culture in general-I think that was around the time that I was truly figuring myself out, so it meant a lot.

And the beautiful thing that we're seeing now is just, more. The floodgates have opened and we have so many artists to choose from.

Cahleb Derry, he/him, Associate Manager, Music Marketi
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