Breaking Banned Music Across Cultural and Geographical Borders
When artists couldn’t travel, Spotify helped their music to cross borders. In response to the proposed Travel Ban, which barred citizens of six Muslim-majority nations from the U.S., we created I’m with the banned.
The project paired musicians from those six banned nations with six American artists to create collaborative music. The artists included Waayaha Cusub, a hip-hop collective from Somalia, and Methal, the first female musician to play publicly in Yemen.
With travel to the U.S. too uncertain, the artists recorded in Toronto alongside major American recording artists that included Pusha T, Desiigner, and X Ambassadors. The collaborations were captured for documentary films that premiered on Spotify and in special screenings across America.
I realized that if I want to keep doing something I love, I need to leave.
– Methal, Yemeni artist