South African music lovers, brace yourselves for an electrifying October as Spotify GLOW puts the spotlight on the genre-fluid South African artist, Mx Blouse. Spotify GLOW, which launched globally in January, is a music program dedicated to celebrating and amplifying LGBTQIA+ artists and creators, showcasing their work, artistry, and profound influence on music and culture.
In a statement by Henco Harmse, Spotify’s Artist and Label Partnerships Manager in South Africa, the significance of this initiative is laid bare: “Many LGBTQIA+ artists and creators have had limited amplification opportunities. This has led music lovers and the industry in general to overlook their artistry. Artistry is personal and used as a tool of expression, especially in the LGBTQIA+ community. However, if the opportunities for this marginalised community are few and far between, building a future as an artist becomes overly challenging.”
Mx Blouse’s journey into the music industry began with their groundbreaking single, WTF(SQUARED), which predates Spotify’s South African launch in 2018. This genre-blurring track, released in 2016, introduced an artist who defies categorisation, seamlessly blending elements of rap with a diverse array of dance music styles, including house and kwaito, all steeped in a distinctly streetwise African sensibility.
But WTF(SQUARED) was just the tip of the iceberg, revealing Mx Blouse’s unwavering commitment to drawing inspiration from every corner of the musical universe. Their sound is nothing short of unique and eclectic, shattering conventional genre norms. This musical eclecticism extends to their stage presence and music videos, with their single “Supernatural” serving as a prime example of their boundary-pushing approach.
Mx Blouse’s artistry is a testament to their courage as a genre-fluid artist navigating an industry that often falls short in its inclusivity and support for LGBTQIA+ artists who don’t conform to traditional molds. Yet, their bravery transcends national borders, with performances at some of South Africa’s most renowned music festivals and tours in Germany, Switzerland, and France.
Henco Harmse emphasises the importance of this initiative, saying, “We firmly understand and acknowledge the importance of lifting the voices of LGBTQIA+ artists and creators within the music industry. Spotify GLOW provides LGBTQIA+ artists and creators with tools on and off platforms to build their careers beyond domestic borders.”
Mx Blouse takes center stage as the cover star of the GLOW playlist, inviting music enthusiasts to experience their single “ICON” and embark on a sonic journey that defies convention and celebrates the boundless creativity of LGBTQIA+ artists.
In October, let the music of Mx Blouse be a reminder that artistry knows no boundaries, and it’s our collective duty to celebrate and uplift the voices that break free from the mould. Spotify GLOW is more than a program; it’s a celebration of diversity and an invitation to explore the rich tapestry of LGBTQIA+ music and culture.
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