Music streaming service Saavn, today announced its expansion into original music with the worldwide release of 'Azaad Hu Mai,' a genre-defining track from underground hip-hop artist, Naezy.
The track is the first to be released under Artist Originals (AO), Saavn's new original music program that empowers South Asian artists, songwriters and producers from around the world. With AO, Saavn is now the first streaming company to conceptualise, produce and distribute new music with independent artists in India.
The collaboration with Naezy is reflective of India's burgeoning interest in hip-hop and its emergence into South Asian pop culture - a movement that can be likened to the genre's late-80s and 90s 'golden years' in the United States.
'Azaad Hu Mai,' is an ode to Naezy's journey from the slums of Mumbai to a rising star. The lyrics exhort freedom, which for Naezy, is a path defined by hard work, perseverance and hope, culminating in the diffusion of his individual gifts into the essence of universality.
"Saavn is making huge strides, giving the Hip Hop movement in our country a crucial platform and I am happy to be a part of this. I look forward to be the first to grace the Artist Originals program as we curate a larger movement that gives artists across our country an opportunity to shine" said Naezy.
The release of 'Azaad Hu Mai' and the launch of Artist Originals is the latest development in Saavn's continued evolution as a global entertainment company and preeminent content producer. The company is also returning to its roots as a distributor with plans to release original music through a variety of platforms beyond Saavn's own global streaming service.
"In India, mainstream music is correlated with film music, so most independent artists are releasing their music DIY. With AO, we become a voice for India's underground artists, supporting and accelerating their growth, while allowing them the freedom to express themselves in their own way - both visually and musically," said Paramdeep Singh, Co-founder and Executive Chairman, Saavn.
The news follows Saavn's successful launch of original programming and its Artist-in-Residence (AiR) program last year. Featuring audio show personalities like Neha Dhupia, Neelesh Misra, and MissMalini, among others, Saavn Originals continues to innovate. Saavn's first Artist-in-Residence, independent artist Nucleya became India's most talked about electronic music artist last year.
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