Angelique Kidjo, Faia Younan and more to perform free online concerts for Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation

The acclaimed singers will have their concerts streamed on YouTube

Angelique Kidjo performing at the Mawazine music festival in Morocco, 2014. A&L cover, 3 Aug 2014, story by Saeed Saeed. 
CREDIT: Courtesy Mawazine
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World music star Angelique Kidjo leads this year's batch of online concerts organised by the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation.

The Beninese singer tops an eclectic bill of artists including Syria’s Faia Younan and Morocco’s Oum.

All concerts are pre-recorded and will be streamed on the foundation’s YouTube page from 9pm.

With the pandemic forcing the foundation to migrate its music programme online last June, director Reem Fadda said the shows continue the organisation’s quest to bring innovative arts programming to the UAE.

“At the moment, live-streaming through our YouTube channel is an effective way of carrying on with our mission of promoting both established and up-and-coming, experimental artists and entertaining audiences across the emirate,” she said.

Here are three online gigs coming our way.

Wednesday, January 20: Angelique Kidjo

Age is nothing but a number for the Grammy Award winner. Having recently turned 60 and in the fourth decade of her career, Kidjo is renowned for her electrifying performances and multilingual body of songs mixing traditional West African sounds with soul, reggae, jazz and pop.

Wednesday, February 17: Faia Younan

Born in Aleppo, Syria, before migrating to Sweden aged 7, Younan made her voice known courtesy of her YouTube song To Our Countries, which went regionally viral in 2014.

A year later, Younan relocated to Beirut to dedicate herself to a music career. In addition to two well-received albums, the most recent being 2019's A Sea Between Us, Younan also featured on the 2019 single Busted and Blue by UK group Gorillaz.

Wednesday, February 24: Oum

More than a singer, Moroccan artist Oum is viewed as a cultural ambassador for the kingdom, such is her expansive range which represents both Morocco's modern and traditional music scenes.

Getting her start in 1998 as a gospel singer, Oum found her own voice from 2002 by mixing traditional North African blues, known as gnawa, with funk and soul music. With four albums behind her, including stellar 2009 debut Lik'Oum, the singer continues to push boundaries while retaining the essence of her homeland.