Musicians Keyz and Tac, DOP Nitesh Marwa, Pirlanta Toubba
Musicians Keyz and Tac, DOP Nitesh Marwa, Pirlanta Toubba Image Credit: janko

Summer is here, bringing with it a distinctive rhythm that pulsates through the air. It’s the rhythm of music, a universal language that binds us all. Like a perfect harmony, music and summer are entwined, each enhancing the essence of the other. There’s an irrefutable energy that emerges when a melody captures the spirit of a summer day or a song evokes a balmy night under the stars. This bond between music and summer serves as the backdrop to cherished memories, creating a timeless melody to the season of sun and freedom. Enter Pirlanta Toubba, a woman whose devotion to music is helping craft this very - soundtrack for the vibrant landscapes of the Middle East.

For Pirlanta, music is not just a job, but a deep-seated passion that took root during her early childhood. She vividly remembers the echo of melodies and lyrics from her favourite songs with which she felt an incredible connection. It was that transformative experience, that point when she understood music’s ability to evoke emotions and bring people together, shaping what would become a lifelong journey in the industry.

Fast forward to adulthood: with the dearth of artist managers in the United Arab Emirates, Pirlanta, a filmmaker by trade, stepped in to fill the void. Her initial foray into the industry saw her use her production experience to enhance artists’ visual representation by crafting high-quality music videos for them. This venture evolved into an all-encompassing artist management role where she discovered her innate talent for identifying emerging artists and shaping their careers. The thought of being the driving force behind an artist’s breakthrough was gratifying, and lead her to establish a management company that offers unrivaled support and services to artists.

Director Pirlanta Toubba
Director Pirlanta Toubba Image Credit: janko

Balancing multiple roles as a filmmaker, an arts and culture director, and an artist manager, Toubba sees the interconnectedness of these paths. She believes they all contribute to the bigger picture of what she aims to achieve, particularly during a time of burgeoning developments in the regional arts and culture scene.

Her multitude of roles in Phenomena Productions, LastSeenLive and Music Agency by LSL, three companies she founded and grew into successful businesses, sometimes make juggling her work and personal life challenging. However, her work is her passion and an integral part of her life, and her love for the arts and culture in music, film and entertainment give her the energy to don various hats. “Even though it can be demanding, the fulfillment and impact of my work make it all worthwhile,” shares Pirlanta. She strives to maintain a healthy work-life balance, understanding that personal wellbeing is crucial for her effectiveness. We could all take a page from that book.

But success doesn’t come without its own set of challenges. When launching her career, Pirlanta struggled with gaining credibility and building a network in an industry that was still developing. She tackled these obstacles through perseverance, continuous learning, consistently delivering results. She actively sought opportunities to collaborate with industry professionals, and by proving her commitment to the artists she works with, she gradually gained the trust and respect needed to thrive. As a successful female artist manager in a male-dominated field, Toubba is unyielding in her belief that gender should not limit one’s ambitions or capabilities, which encourages her even more to champion equality in the music industry.

If Pirlanta went through hardships, so did some of her artists. She looks back at one of them who originally struggled to gain recognition. Through strategic guidance, branding and leveraging LastSeenLive, she and her team showcased the artist’s unique sound and reached a broader audience, leading to increased followers, streams and collaborations, which in turn led to a flourishing career and a respected name in the industry. Another experience that personally and professionally impacted her, was working with an artist who was initially hesitant to share their music due to self-doubt. Through mentorship and guidance, she helped them overcome their insecurities and unleash their creativity, reinforcing the importance of nurturing talent and providing a supportive environment for artists to flourish.

In fact, we could say Pirlanta’s accomplishments are defined by the success of the artists she represents. Artists like Abri and Sandra Sahi who performed at the 1st edition of RELM Fest on The Palm in Dubai, or rapper Saud Ibrahim who performed at BRED in Abu Dhabi. They are driving change in the Middle East’s music scene. They’re pushing boundaries, experimenting with new sounds and blending cultural influences to create a distinct musical identity. “The new wave of artists across the region is making noise in ways never seen before,” says Pirlanta. “They are benefitting from participating in festivals and events as it provides invaluable exposure and allows them to connect with larger audiences, industry professionals and fellow musicians, ultimately helping them elevate their careers.”

Taking these talents to the next level involves different components, one of which is collaborating with renowned brands. We recently saw Pirlanta’s hard work on videos of various young artists in collaboration with Adidas and Disco Misr; partnering with such a well-known brand mean sets a significant milestone for musicians. It provides them with an opportunity to expand their reach, tap into new audiences and align with others that share their values, while also increasing their credibility and potential for future partnerships.

To emerging musicians looking to make big achievements in their careers, Pirlanta’s advice is to stay authentic, focus on honing their craft, build a strong network and embrace growth opportunities. She stresses the importance of persistence and resilience and encourages artists to see every setback as a chance to grow. After all, that is what creates interesting stories, and in a -world where storytelling is at the core of music’s emotional impact, helping artists shape their narratives through their music can be quite fulfilling. And that authenticity and vulnerability can touch hearts and forge meaningful connections.

Speaking of connections, Pirlanta finds there is an undeniable link between music and summer. Music has the power to enhance the mood of people on vacation, capturing the essence of their experiences. Which is why she encourages artists to create music that resonates with these moments, allowing them to make a deeper bond with their listeners and become the soundtrack to their summer escapades.

So, turn up the volume, relax and enjoy your vacation, I’m sure you earned it!