Spotify has introduced Sylvia Saru, popularly known as Ssaru, as the latest artist to join its EQUAL Music Program. EQUAL is Spotify’s global initiative to cultivate gender equality in music and support female artists and podcast creators both locally and internationally.
At just 19 years old, the Kenyan-born rapper and singer-songwriter is the youngest artist to join the program. Ssaru first made her mark in the industry after her rap freestyle went viral. Following that, she released her first video ‘Nyama’ and has since worked with the likes of Benzema of the Ochungulo Family, one of the music crews instrumental in pioneering the Gengetone genre in Kenya.
The rapper originally worked on several dancehall projects that she has put on hold to cut her teeth in what is currently one of Africa’s most popular genres – Gengetone, making her one of the first women to venture into the genre. Ssaru also currently features on Spotify’s flagship playlist Gengetone Fire that highlights the hottest artists and tracks of the genre coming out of Kenya.
“Ssaru is breaking barriers and owning her voice in a space that is predominantly male-dominated. She is a young, independent female artist who has fast become one of the female faces of a genre that is gaining massive international appeal. We launched EQUAL with the aim to upend the disparities faced by female creators and Ssaru is a primary example of an artist who is doing just that, it only makes sense that we have her on board,” says Phiona Okumu, Head of Music, Sub Saharan Africa.
Ssaru adds, “Being an EQUAL artist grants me tools to project positive vibrations to the entire human race the best way I know how, which is limitless.”
Ssaru joins the program’s stellar roster of local and international creators who will be spotlighted through global partnerships, activations, new content experiences, and on and off platform support.