Arabic alternative acts Mashrou’ Leila, Souad Massi, Jadal, Emel Mathlouthi, Salhi, Neobyrd and local music sensation Abri & The Funk Radius are gearing up for a Dubai show next year.
They will perform at the recently-launched WASLA Arabic Alternative Music Festival at Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on January 20.
Early bird tickets, to be released at the end of November, are Dh235 from Virgin Megastores.
Mahsrou’ Leila is a six-member Lebanese folk-rock band with a cult following. Since forming in 2008, they’ve become known for their bittersweet sound, which oscillates lyrically between melancholy and hope.
Souad Massi is an Algerian singer and guitarist who began her career in a contentious political rock band called Atakor. She now performs solo and mixes eastern and western influences, as well as several languages, in her music.
Jadal is a Jordanian rock band, founded in 2003 by composer, guitarist, and producer Mahmoud Radaideh. They first garnered attention with a rock cover of “Kol Ma Gool Al Tobah” by classic Egyptian legend Abdel Halim Hafez.
Salhi is a trio made up of percussionist Imed Alibi, Sufi vocalist Mounir Troudi and jazz trumpetist Michel Marretist. They put a new spin on traditional Bedouin music.
Emel Mathlouthi is a Tunisian singer who is known for her protest songs such as Kelmti Horra, which became anthems for the Tunisian revolution. She mixes strong vocals with electronic melodies and North African beats.
Neobyrd is an Egyptian electronic musician and record producer, who gained airplay back home with songs such as With You Again and My Sweet Heartless from his debut album.
Abri & The Funk Radius, who were nominated for MTV Europe’s Music Award for Best Middle East Act, are led by Hamdan Al Abri, an Emirati singer-songwriter. He has two albums to his name and has toured with the likes of Erykah Badu, Ziggy Marley, Arrested Development, Kanye West and Joss Stone.