11/24/2018, 16.19
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Spotify brings Palestinian music and artists to the global public

The goal of the digital music platform is to overcome barriers and blockades. The obstacle of poor quality internet connenctions remains, nonetheless this is the first dedicated project for Palestine and Gaza. Palestinian singer: In this way we can overcome travel restrictions, which prevent us from holding concerts abroad.

Bethlehem (AsiaNews) - Allowing Palestinian musicians and artists from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to overcome borders, go beyond limits and blockades and make their tracks known to a wider audience, in the region and in the world. This is the goal of a specific program recently launched by Spotify, the digital music platform on demand that allows access to millions of songs and works by major record companies and independent labels.

Suhel Nafar, a musician from the city of Lod (Israel), music and cultural publisher for the Arab world of the music streaming service, emphasizes that the initiative aims to create a "single platform" that provides "the full spectrum of Arabic culture and  creativity, past and present "(you can find some tracks here).

Industry experts explain that Spotify is the first major reality in the music (and digital) world to launch a targeted and specific program in the occupied territories of Palestine; an initiative that allows local artists to reach a world stage, at least on a potential level, in spite of the many challenges and difficulties of daily life and in making a music often unfamiliar to the general public known.

"As a Palestinian artist - explains Bashar Murad, a Palestinian singer who lives in East Jerusalem - I have to undergo numerous restrictions. Some of us can not even travel to hold concerts or performances abroad ". This is why this new reality, he adds, can contribute a lot to the diffusion of local music. "Shortly after the launch - he confirms - my followers jumped from  30 to almost 6500".

However, the lack of a stable and high-speed internet connection - especially as regards the mobile cellular network - in the West Bank and Gaza Strip is bound to create difficulties for users in everyday life. "I will have to be at home - says Mohammed Al-Susi, a Gaza rap singer - or go to an internet café, or still look for a good connection to upload my songs to Spotify"

Moreover, the Palestinian territories are the only reality in the Arab world in which there is no fast 4G network; to remedy the problem, some Internet users turn to more reliable networks in neighboring Israel. In the West Bank, 3G only came last year and in Gaza is a step further back in the 2G network. Having a dedicated music and social channel for the Palestinian territories is "something significant", concludes Murad, according to whom "despite the restrictions, we can unite on social media".


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