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Spotify brings its Sound Up initiative to India to empower women podcasters

Spotify has launched its Sound Up initiative in India with an aim to bring more female talent into the country’s growing audio ecosystem. Sound Up is the company’s global initiative to identify podcast creators from under-represented communities and enable them to hone their podcast creation and execution skills through workshops and beyond.

The India edition of Sound Up is focused on uplifting women podcasters. The ten selected creators will have the opportunity to learn from experts on initial ideation, storytelling, and interviewing, as well as editing and producing podcasts. Spotify states that the selected creators will retain all applicable rights in their podcast idea and any content they would submit as a part of the application or participation in the program.

Because of the current challenges, the India Sound Up program will start with four weeks of virtual Sound Up sessions consisting of scheduled live courses, recorded lessons, one-on-one meetings with the Spotify team and facilitators, and homework assignments. Eight weeks after the completion of virtual classes, participants will submit a final trailer and pitch proposal for the opportunity to be selected to attend the subsequent Sound Up sessions in 2022.

Spotify will also provide computers, internet access, and podcast recording equipment to the Sound Up participants. The facilitators for Sound Up in India include popular podcast producer and consultant Mae Mariyam Thomas and writer-producer Riya Mukherjee.

“I believe that in a country as diverse as ours, there are a multitude of voices that have not been heard and podcasts just waiting to be made. Spotify’s Sound Up initiative is a chance for women as underrepresented voices in India to take their idea and create real magic in audio.”

– Mae Thomas

“I found it darkly fascinating that Indian women are underrepresented in the podcasting space. We are all familiar with negative stereotyping right? Women talk. Women gossip. Women chatter. And yet it seems, Indian women are shrouded in silence. Since the time Spotify shared this statistic with me, I’ve been exploring “silence” as a cultural phenomenon with women in India. And I decided to be a mentor because I want to shatter that silence. I want women to be able to find their own spoken word space. After all, at the end of the day, we are ultimately defined by our voices. And our choices.”

– Riya Mukherjee

Applying for Sound Up is free and the program is open to residents of India who identify as women and are above the age of 18. No prior experience of podcasting is needed. Interested candidates can apply here until July 26, 2021.

Launched in 2018, Sound Up has been offered to women and non-binary people of color in the US, UK, Ireland, and Sweden; young people of colour from the Periferias in Brazil; and members of the LGBTIQA+ community in Germany. In 2021, the program is growing from six to 14 countries.

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