Tune into The Beat DXB Lockdown: the UAE’s biggest online music festival

The event features a who’s who of the Emirates' urban music scene and some international guests

Somali rapper Freek is at the forefront of the Arabic trap music scene. Courtesy Elia Mssawir
Somali rapper Freek is at the forefront of the Arabic trap music scene. Courtesy Elia Mssawir

Local music artists are coming together for the UAE's largest online music festival.

The Beat DXB Lockdown, to be held on Wednesday, April 8, features a whopping 33 artists performing over the space of nine hours.

Almost all are based in the UAE and will take to their respective Instagram accounts at the scheduled time to perform 10-minute sets from home.

The setlist reads like a who’s who of the UAE’s urban music scene, including Somali rapper Freek, Iraqi RnB singer Shebani and Sudanese soul man Jindi.

The Beat DXB Lockdown performance times. Courtesy: The Beat DXB.
The Beat DXB Lockdown performance times. Courtesy The Beat DXB

International artists streaming their sets include Saudi DJ Saud, guitarist Adam Lee from London and rapper – and former UAE resident – Zenden Lavon from the US.

Corralling all that talent together is regional music personality Hass 'Big Hass' Dennaoui. The Saudi says the Lockdown concept is basically an online version of The Beat DXB, a music showcase he has been running in Dubai over the last two years.

By taking it online, Dennaoui hopes to show off the depth of music talent in the UAE and how these artists have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“They have been among the hardest hit with Covid-19 because of all the venue lockdowns. They are many people that were earning their living by performing regularly and in festivals ... all that has been cancelled or postponed,” he says.

“Now, I am not saying that the 10 minutes they will perform here will change their career, but artists also need to keep going and creating. With the Lockdown event I wanted to show their talent and show appreciation for what they do.

“Hopefully through this event, future brands and corporations can also look at the talent that we have got and engage with them for future initiatives, after Covid-19 is done.”

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Here are three acts to check out as part of The Beat DXB Lockdown:

7.20pm: Ghaliaa

The Al Ain singer, full name Ghaliaa Chaker, has a jazzy and raspy voice well beyond her 22 years. Over the last three years she has been dropping some beautifully realised torch songs such as Why and the Arabic follow up Kel El Kalam.

7.40pm: Freek

The Somali rapper is at the forefront of the exciting Arabic trap music scene and is known for his breakout single Wala Kilma. In addition to a strong showing at last year's SoleDXB, Freek – real name Mustafa Ismail – also completed a small tour of the UK last December.

8.30pm: Moh Flow

One of the most accomplished hip-hop artists in the UAE, expect to hear the Syrian-Palestinian rapper performing tracks from his well-received EP Faith.

For more details on The Beat DXB Lockdown, visit instagram.com/thebeatdxb

Updated: April 6, 2020 03:55 PM

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