Music by Elissa, Amr Diab and other Arab stars on TikTok after Rotana deal

Licensing agreement allows social media platform's users to access an extensive catalogue of songs

Lebanese singer Najwa Karam's work with Rotana Music Group is now available to use on TikTok. AFP
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TikTok fans can now make viral videos soundtracked by some of the Arab world’s biggest pop stars.

As part of a new licensing agreement between the social media platform and major label Rotana Music Group, TikTok users now have access to the Saudi-owned company’s extensive catalogue of tracks featuring hits by regional superstars including Elissa, Amir Diab, Najwa Karam and Mohammed Abdo.

These tracks were previously not available and unauthorised uploads were swiftly deleted from the platform.

Rotana Music Group chief executive Salem Al Hendi said the move will reveal the Middle East and North Africa's vibrant music scene to the world.

"We at Rotana are very thrilled with this licensing agreement, which will facilitate Arab music reach into the Mena music industry and young communities,” he said.

“The creative culture in Mena is so vibrant and diverse, and this agreement will enhance the exchange of music content, while promoting and supporting local artists on a proven leading platform for short-form videos.”

Hari Nair, TikTok head of music for Middle East, said the deal increases the diversity of the music catalogue from which content creators can choose.

“As TikTok continues to grow across the Middle East and North Africa, becoming a cultural force in the region, we’re delighted to bring the biggest independent catalogue to our platform,” he said.

“TikTok is committed to licensing and ensuring a broad, diverse range of sounds in our library for our global community to enjoy.”

What songs are now available?

Formed in 1993, Rotana Music Group is one of the Arab world's largest record labels, with more than 100 artists signed in genres ranging from pop and classical Arabic music to the spiritual sounds of nasheed.

With the agreement, TikTok users will now have a treasure trove of hits to choose from.

Some of the big tracks now accessible include Mohamed Ramadan’s Corona Virus and Dawsha, Tamer Hosny’s Mabatalnash Ehsas, Assala’s Ghalban and Karam's Maloun Abou L Echeq.

Diab fans can now also upload some of the Egyptian superstar's earliest hits exclusively recorded for Rotana, including 2009's Wayah and 2013's El Leilah.

Those looking to create some wholesome and Ramadan-inspired content can dip into key nasheed tracks by Kuwaiti singer Mashary Rashed El Afasi.

Those looking for new sounds from the label should look for tracks by Iraqi singer Majid Al Mohandis (Basrawi Talaganah), Lebanon's Fares Karam (Hallah Ya Deni) and Saudi singer Naseer Naif (Wetha Yanni), all released this week.

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Updated: January 13, 2023, 6:46 AM