Rolling Stone Middle East's Street to Stage competition is down to the finals, concluding the showcase tomorrow at Dubai's Hard Rock Cafe.
The five finalists span genres ranging from alt-country to indie and hard rock, and the sole woman of the group is Caitlin Murphy.
"That didn't surprise me, really, because there are a lot of men in this part of the world," says the Dubai-based singer-songwriter. "I don't know whether it will work to my advantage or not, but at least it looks good."
The Australian will perform alongside the Dubai artists Fables of Cantt, Danny Shirran and Abbo, and Jordan's Emad Alaeddin & The Final Wish.
Launched in June by the Dubai-based magazine, the competition invites unsigned artists to compete in the running for mentorship by (and a possible record deal from) Sony Music Middle East, not to mention a ringing endorsement from the regional edition of arguably the world's most famous music title.
Competitors uploaded MP3 files of original songs online. Dozens of entrants were whittled down through online and public voting to the final five. The finals will be judged by a panel drawn from the magazine and regional music industry figures.
No matter what the result is, Murphy says the competition has been her biggest success as a local musician. "As an original artist in Dubai there is not so much you can do here other than support big bands or get in with the big promoters," she says. "So the competition gave me more self-confidence as an artist and I will continue exploring more as an original artist. I will keep trying."
The Street to Stage final is at the Hard Rock Cafe Dubai tomorrow from 7pm to 11pm. Free entry. For details visit www.rollingstoneme.com