We are a global millennial brand, committed to providing our users with cutting-edge technology, inclusive design, warm interactions, and an unparalleled library of content. We are also fiercely proud of our Sub-continental hearts.
Our mission is to build a community that connects the billions, all across the world, who share our South Asian soul.
When we recently hit 22 million monthly active users, we asked ourselves – what does this number really mean? It wasn’t just a metric of measuring growth, it was a real world indication that 22 million people in this world care about what we do at Saavn, and they make it a part of their everyday lives. Brands only stand the test of time when it means something beyond function to the people who use it. It needs to make them feel something or make them a part of a community that is larger than themselves or even change the way they live, even if in the smallest way.
At Saavn, over the last decade, we have dedicated ourselves to creating a product we can all be proud of. The philosophy behind the product has gone to define the brand and how we talk to our listeners. We are a global millennial company, not because we say so, but because that is who our listeners are. With every decision they make on what to stream, our listeners have defined trends, made hits, and revived music that was lost to time. These audiences have been more involved in the arts, sciences and culture of India than any other generation before this.
The rise of a millennial consumer marks a transition from traditional marketing. Marketing is no longer defined by the number of billboards you own, the number of radio spots you run or the number of print ads you buy. It is about what you say with these assets. Simply put – It is not about medium, it is about message. And, in 2017 – no message is clearer than one that is spoken by everyday people who personify what the brand stands for. This is why we want to introduce you to Maria Qamar.
Maria Qamar, more popularly known as Hatecopy on Instagram, is someone we met in early 2017. She was the quintessential Saavn listener – a music lover, a pop culture enthusiast, someone who was South Asian at heart and global in spirit. Her cheeky pop art that draws from relatable everyday banter has garnered a loyal audience for her work amongst Desis globally.
Today, we launch our national brand campaign spearheaded by Hatecopy’s art. As Saavn’s first ever lifestyle campaign, we are thrilled to be working with someone who is a digital storyteller and cultural influencer.
What inspired you to come up with your desi pop-art? What was the genesis for the style?
My style is a hybrid of Roy Lichtenstein and modern-day South Asian soap operas. The humor in my work is originated from a hyperbolized version of tragedy. Our shared experiences as the south Asian diaspora living in the west is the drive behind each moment; a lot of it which I have experienced or witnessed in my life.
We know that Mindy Kaling has said she is a huge fan. Any other special mentions or moments you want to share?
I grew up with very few South Asian role models in the arts, so I am very happy to know that the ones I do look up to support my work. Some of my current favorites include Malika Favre, Manjit Thapp and Akshay B. Varaham.
Which of your works is your personal favorite?
My personal favorite is ‘Get Me Out’. It was my first patterned print, and a piece that allowed me to think outside the canvas.
You’ve been doing these illustrations for a while now, but this is the first time your work will be displayed across India. How do you feel about that?
I am excited to share my work with the world, as always. I hope that it inspires and creates a conversation in your home as it has for mine.
Have you done anything like this before?
I’ve been drawing and painting since I was a child, but it was always done in secrecy. It’s until recently that I have been able to openly express my creativity and share it with my friends across the globe.
Why have you chosen to collaborate with Saavn?
Saavn was first introduced to me by my best friend on an 8 hour road trip to New York. We created a playlist of all of our favorite desi artists and sang at the top of our lungs to all the tunes we had memorized since we were kids. I view the platform as a unique space in which I am free to be myself; much like my artwork.
In what ways do you think you’ll be able to connect with the Indian youth through your art? What sort of a response are you expecting?
I hope that young girls and women like myself can find comfort in knowing that we are not alone in the fight for equality – especially in the arts.
Congratulations on your new book. Can you tell us a little about it?
Thank you! Trust No Aunty is a book about navigating the world as a young desi female. It encapsulates all aspects of growing up desi; from facing negative advice to tips on finance, food, culture and much more. It’s a lighthearted book that you can gift to girls entering college or keep for yourself as a reminder, that you can overcome any challenge that comes your way. Fight Beti, fight!
What’s next for Hatecopy?
I will continue to work harder and practice my craft to become a better artist and role model for the generation to follow. I believe that the best legacy is the one that enables the youth to push forward and achieve bigger and better things!