Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 25 November 2020

Emirates Music Summit to address ways to develop artists and the UAE scene

Held next month, the event features key decision makers from the regional music scene

A number of events, including Ultra Abu Dhabi and Taste of Dubai, have been cancelled or postponed in the UAE. Pawan Singh / The National 
A number of events, including Ultra Abu Dhabi and Taste of Dubai, have been cancelled or postponed in the UAE. Pawan Singh / The National 

If you are in any way involved in the local music community, then it is time to talk. This is the message behind the Emirates Music Summit, to be held on Thursday and Friday, March 12 and 13, at Nasab, the workspace and social club in Dubai.

The event, which aims to be an ongoing series of discussions to be conducted across various emirates throughout the year, aims to bring all elements of the local music industry together to sit down and synergise their approach.

Who is taking part?

The first day will be an invite only affair featuring key organisations from the regional music scene, including members of streaming services Anghami and Spotify. Also on board is the Chinese popular social media and video sharing platform TikTok, which will be there to discuss its strategy for the region.

Providing some international perspective is Steve Carless, the vice president for artists and repertoire at Def Jam Recordings (Jay Z, Rihanna and Justin Bieber), who will offer insights and advice on how the UAE music scene can flourish in the region

The second day, Friday, March 13, is free entry to the public and is dedicated to all aspiring musicians and DJs. Also appearing that day are representatives from various record labels and music production companies. One of which is Universal Music Mena, who will host a showcase of their signed talent with performances by the likes of Rima Yusseff, Jaafar and Hadi Sarieddine. With more guests and music acts to be announced, check out all information on the event’s website emiratesmusicsummit.com

Discussing the challenges of the local music scene

According to co-organiser Alberto M Carter, an artist manager and creator of local music education initiative, Hip Hop Academy, the UAE music landscape is failing to live up to its potential as no one is working together.

“Managing a few artists here, I realised that there really is no music scene in the UAE. By that I mean there is a lack of professional advisors, from lawyers and agents to managers, around to show you how can really make music as a full time living,” he says.

“Then there is that element of competition from some key stakeholders. Like you will never really see Anghami and Spotify in one room. By doing things like this we can help push the scene forward.”

The summit also hopes to push artists to develop music from a hobby to a professional craft. “There is a lot of people here who look at music as a hobby as opposed to being a focus,” he says. “We are just trying to show the country that it could be a legit industry if certain bodies stop using music as byproduct and to take artists seriously. But the only way that can happen is if the local music industry is taken seriously and this is what the summit aims to do.”

The announcement of the Emirates Music Summit is a boon for local artists, as it comes on the back of the recently announced DJ Mag Conference , which will take place in Abu Dhabi's Yas Island’s W Hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 3 and 4. Through a series of industry and artists discussions, the event aims explores the evolution of the regional dance industry and best practices when it comes to creating events and festivals.

Updated: February 25, 2020 11:27 AM

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