#WaraElMazzika: Lynn Fattouh, Aka Malikah, Gives Us the Scoop on Spotify’s New Sawtik Initiative

In this edition of #WaraElMazzika, we had an exclusive chitchat with Lynn Fattouh (Malikah). Lynn is part of the Consumer Marketing team at Spotify MEA. She oversees all consumer-facing marketing communications from partnerships, activations to full 360 campaigns.

Her responsibilities extend to all markets of the Middle East and North Africa where Spotify is live, in addition to South Africa. Prior to joining Spotify in 2018, Lynn had a successful career spanning nearly 10 years in leading creative agencies across the region, where she was part of the client servicing, project management, and business development team. Some of the agencies include Saatchi & Saatchi as well as MullenLowe MENA.

Alongside her corporate experience, Lynn is an Arab Hip Hop recording artist who has performed on stage with some of the biggest names in the music industry including DMC (Run DMC), Snoop Dogg, Guns and Roses, and Damon Albarn.

How did the intiative come to life?

At Spotify, we always want to make sure that music is as inclusive as possible, and that artists get equal opportunities, regardless of their gender, origins, or type of music. That’s why we always keep an eye on what’s happening around music. We recently conducted research across MENA focusing on female artists and found out a lot of things. This includes that 60% of female emerging artists felt stigmatized for deciding to be an artist and a lot of them were advised not to continue their journey and there is a lot more.

I’m an artist myself, I used to be a rapper, and I lived through these difficulties and through the stigma, and I know how hard it was for me to make it, and I felt I was alone and that there is no support and that’s why I stopped doing music. We don’t want this to happen to today’s female artists as well.

We discovered through this research that the road to equality between genders when it comes to music production is still a long one. As Spotify, we decided that it’s our responsibility to stand by these female artists and support them, and this is why we decided to launch Sawtik.

How will the initiative empower female artists in the region?

We’re launching the initiative with a campaign that will be on and off the platform. On the platform we’re taking over 18 key playlists such as Yalla Araby and Arab Hiphop, and we’re changing their cover picture to the design of Sawtik. We’ll have a song of female artists as the first song of all of these playlists. In addition, we’ve launched a Sawtik playlist, which will be the go to place to discover female artists from the Arab World for the listeners or the labels. It’ll give the opportunity for these emerging artists to reach 320 million listeners worldwide.

In addition to that we’ll have outdoor billboards in Casablance, Amman, Riyadh, and Cairo as well as Cairo Tower, where we’ll showcase these 16 artists. And we’re partnering up with a lot of amazing artists that believe in this initiative. We have the amazing Lateefa as the Godmother of this initiative, and we have a lof of other artists as well, such as Mohamed Assaf, Carmen Soliman, Salma Rashid, Wegz, and others.

And we’re dedicating our social media pages fully for two days just to promote these female artists. And this is just the start, we have so many more plans after that. In a couple of weeks for example we have a workshop for emerging female artists to show them how to promote their music using Spotify.

How can female artists reach out to join the initative?

We have a criteria for them to join, first of all they need to be over 18 years old. She needs to be from the Arab World. She needs to be an independent artist who isn’t signed to any record label, and has at least one original song that’s on Spotify. If the artist matches all the above she needs only to send an email to Sawtik@spotify.com and the music team will contact her and we’ll be happy for them to join.

WE SAID THIS: Follow our hashtag #WaraElMazzika for more exclusives from the music industry.