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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Fresh Voices, Diverse Perspectives: A Conversation with Khan FM, Manager of Artist and Label Partnerships at Spotify Pakistan

The expansion of Spotify into Pakistan has had a profoundly positive impact on both artists and fans. Khan FM, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager for Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh, recently participated in a fireside conversation at Karachi Slush’D, a gathering of innovators, businesspeople, and music lovers. He covered this topic in great detail.

With Khan FM, we will now delve even further into the dynamic world of music and how Spotify has significantly changed the scene.

Q1. Could you briefly describe your position at Spotify?

A: I am the Artist & Label Partnerships Manager for Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka at Spotify. I essentially act as the spark for every song, album, team-up, and relationship you see in the public eye when it comes to music. I collaborate closely with label representatives and artists to make sure they get the most out of their song. In the past, Pakistani artists were never given this kind of direction. They lacked access to top-notch tools like “Spotify For Artists.” The majority of Pakistani artists had to deal with a variety of challenges, sometimes even from those who had no business in the music industry. That is being changed.

Q2. Could you provide some information on how Spotify’s collaboration with Coke Studio has increased Coke Studio’s global reach?

A: Of course! Beginning with Season 14 in 2022, Spotify’s cooperation with Coke Studio will represent a substantial alliance between two influential figures in the local music scene. Coke Studio’s global reach has been significantly increased thanks to this exciting cooperation.

Just to give you an idea of reach amplification, think about the fact that the influence of songs has been astounding regardless of language, whether it be Balochi, Punjabi, Sindhi, or Urdu. Seasons 12 and 13 together have received close to 14 million streams in the past. However, with the Season 14 collaboration with Spotify being the official audio streaming service, we witnessed an astonishing surge to approximately 390 million streams for the season.

The dramatic rise in streaming figures underlines the importance of our collaboration. It represents both the depth and diversity of Coke Studio’s music as well as the enthusiasm of audiences everywhere to embrace and appreciate it. The relationship has successfully crossed linguistic and cultural barriers, enabling a significantly larger global audience to access and enjoy Coke Studio’s music. Another important illustration would be the sheer number of new fans who had access to songs like Pasoori, Peechay Hutt, and Tu Jhoom around the globe. We were even able to watch Coke Studio music charting outside of Pakistan thanks to our extensive worldwide reach. The success of this partnership underscores the power of music to unite and transcend borders, and we’re excited to continue fostering this musical journey with Coke Studio.

Q3. You indicated during the fireside conversation that your “Fresh Finds” program has highlighted roughly 350 artists, but there are still more artists awaiting discovery and platform education. How will you approach them?

A proactive strategy has been started in order to find more untapped potential. Over the past year, Spotify has held two Masterclass sessions in Pakistan, and we intend to keep up with this beneficial effort. These seminars give musicians a forum to learn about the numerous career prospects that Spotify provides. We go in-depth on technologies like “Spotify For Artists” that are crucial for musicians to comprehend and employ in order to sell their music and comprehend their global fanbase.

Through these Masterclasses, we instruct musicians on how to make the most of Spotify’s features, from building distinctive artist profiles to enhancing the discoverability of their music. Insights on playlist pitching, data analytics, and audience interaction tactics are also provided. We want to equip upcoming musicians with the information they need to succeed on our platform so that the music industry can keep developing and embracing new talent.

Because the Masterclass is constantly changing, much like artists, the two go hand in hand. All artists, regardless of age or experience level, are encouraged to join these workshops, and we’re always available for questions in order to provide the greatest possible education for artists and aid in maximizing their reach.

Q4. You also talked about RADAR with a lot of enthusiasm. Can you tell us more about this initiative and the benefits it brings to the nation’s up-and-coming artists?

A: RADAR is an international program for the development of artists that was also launched in Pakistan last year. We made new artists the center of attention through RADAR. Consider a new independent musician who is active on social media, has performed a few shows, and has released some music, but who is unable to become well-known without help from the industry and connections. At this point, we turn on RADAR to make sure that the world is aware of this new talent.

The following big artist could originate from anyplace thanks to Spotify and its distinctive features like RADAR. Taha G, Maanu, and countless more individuals who just emerged as strong rivals on the scene were made possible by RADAR. It’s incredibly interesting what we do as part of this effort. As a part of the initiative, these artists not only join a special playlist, but we also assist in fostering a close bond between the up-and-coming artists and their respective fanbase. We produce documentaries that take viewers inside the artist’s world.

This is not a song or a music video. It’s incredibly intimate. You can learn about an artist’s career through their friends, family, and anyone else who can offer a detailed reflection on the artist’s past experiences. The intention is for these artists to become visible to the larger music industry’s radars. Who knows which RADAR Pakistan artist will end up being signed by a major label? That would only be the beginning. Furthermore, we have some interesting ideas in store as RADAR Pakistan approaches its one anniversary.

Q5. Coke Studio Season 15 will soon be available. What strategies do you have in place to make the most of this cooperation going forward?

A: We constantly converse. Before Season 14 finished, we started talking about Season 15, and we both have some really exciting things in store. For the time being, all I can say is that the Spotify and Coke Studio collaboration is still in its infancy. I’ll let the listeners decide what happens next. We must all come together to enjoy our artists, cultures, and music in the end.

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