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Ali Sethi and Irfan Junejo share their favourite South Asian tracks on Spotify’s Spotlight

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Celebrating South Asian Music: Spotify reveals how ‘Desi Music’ is captivating listeners across the globe


Karachi: – From July 18 to August 17, South Asians celebrate their culture, heritage, and traditions in month-long festivities regarded as ‘South Asian Heritage Month’. And once again, Spotify is honoring one of the strongest cultural elements of the region; music, in its distinct and personal flavor. The audio streaming giant has revealed some interesting insights on South Asian music consumption within the region and across the globe.
According to Spotify, ‘Desi’ music continues to be a popular genre for listeners all around the globe. USA, UK, and Canada remain the leading countries that stream desi music, followed by Australia and Germany. ‘Desi’ music is growing rapidly in UAE, Australia and Canada and shows the largest increase in streams of the South Asian music genre, recording year-on-year growth of 72%, 54% and 50% respectively.


Over the past year, streams of the Desi Hits playlist on Spotify have increased by 55%. Of the total volume the playlist has been streamed, 40% have emerged from outside South Asia. For Desi Lofi, 42% of listeners are from beyond South Asia, 40% for Desi Hip Hop and 38% for Desi Indie. The South Asian Sufi playlist has by far been the biggest musical export with 66% streams from countries far and wide.

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Speaking for the occasion, Rutaba Yaqub, Spotify Senior Editor in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh said, “With Spotify significantly strengthening its position in South Asian markets, we are able to connect artists to their fans and communities across the globe, and have witnessed a growing love for South Asian artists and desi music that reflects in the exponential growth of streams of our desi playlists”.


“Spotify is celebrating South Asian Heritage Month this year by building a strong cultural connection between desi music and its listeners through our South Asian Music Hub where listeners can find and enjoy popular desi playlists and more,” she added.


As part of the celebrations around South Asian Heritage Month, selected South Asian creators, including ‘Pasoori’ famed Ali Sethi and renowned influencer, Irfan Junejo, have also been featured under Spotify’s Spotlight series. Among featured playlists of each creator, fans can now discover the favourite South Asian tracks of Ali Sethi and Irfan Junejo among others.
As per the data shared by Spotify, the most streamed Pakistani track globally is one that doesn’t come as the slightest surprise as it is none other than Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s ‘Pasoori’. After its release last year, ‘Pasoori’ went on to become a global phenomenon that took its place on Spotify’s Viral 50 Global chart, the first Pakistani song to achieve this feat.
Data shows that fans can’t get enough of Atif Aslam. As most streamed Pakistani artist globally, his track ‘Jeena Jeena’ stood as his most streamed export track. Other most streamed Pakistani artists are Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, and their most streamed export tracks are ‘O Re Piya’ and ‘Mere Rashke Qamar’ respectively.


For the top cities, Dubai, Melbourne, Toronto, New York and London vibed with desi music the most.

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