INTERNATIONAL – Palestinian musicians are fast reaping dividends from their presence on Spotify, which launched its internet streaming service in the Middle East and North Africa last week.
“The Arab hub provides a unique platform that brings the full spectrum of Arab culture and creativity, past and present,” said Suhel Nafar, a musician from the Israeli city of Lod who serves as the music streaming service’s senior Arab music and culture editor.
Spotify is the first major streaming company to launch a program specific to the occupied Palestinian territories, allowing local artists to reach new global audiences despite local challenges.
“As Palestinian artists, we face a lot of restrictions. Some cannot travel to perform in another country,” said Bashar Murad, a Palestinian singer based in East Jerusalem, an area that Israel captured, along with the West Bank, in a 1967 war.
He said Spotify is helping him to get his music heard.