Spotify has announced the winners of this year’s Sound Up program, which supports women of color in turning their creative passions into fully developed podcasts.

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The program is a five-day accelerator program that educates women on the needs for their creative ideas. Thousands applied for the program and ten were selected. Last month, the NYC Spotify office brought together a group of daily guest speakers, compelling storytelling workshops, captivating lessons on music integration and pitch competition. The week ended with funds that will be used to develop and launch pilot episodes of the podcasts, ushering in a new wave of exciting programming for Spotify.

The conclusion of the program saw Christina Orlando, Janae Burris, Shayla Martin, and SK honored with $10,000 apiece for their efforts.


Christina is a non-binary, Latinx New Yorker working in publishing. Through the program, she developed a time travel podcast concept that explores Queer history. Christina has worked to open up the conversation about important issues of gender, race and mental health both in the LGBTQ+ community and beyond to galvanize the community, especially women of color.

Janae is a black stand-up comedian from Denver who is sharing how our relationships with our fathers, good, bad or non-existent are universal. Through her podcast, she explores with those who have lost their fathers, how we operate in the world without them, and its effects on our mental and emotional health.

Shayla is an Upper Marlboro local who developed her podcast exploring issues of addiction, recovery and maintaining sobriety through the lens of people of color.

SK is a South Asian immigrant, former attorney, and a sexual abuse/domestic violence survivor. Her story is chronicled in her podcast coming to Spotify.

For more information about the Sound Up program visit here.