WASLA Music Festival @ Dubai Media City Amphitheatre on 20th Jan 2017
If you enjoy Arabic music but are tired of the mainstream songs on the radio, or if you simply are interested in an alternative beat, the WASLA Music Festival is the perfect event for you. Featuring both established and rising talent, the festival includes local and regional artists such as Mashrou Leila from Lebanon, Jadal from Jordan, Emel Mathlouthi and Salhi from Tunisia, Souad Massi from Algeria, Abri and the Funk Radius from the UAE and Neobyrd from Egypt. This full day of concerts will bring diverse music genres from the dynamic Middle Eastern music scene all in one day. Whether you prefer rock, soul, electronic or jazz tunes, there will be something for everyone at WASLA. A variety of delicious eats and a festive atmosphere will complete the experience, making this a day in the park you won’t want to miss. The festival is open to those aged 18 and over.
Souad Massi: Her youthful obsessions with western rock, folk, country music, as well as the chaabi and classical andalusian music of her native land, gave birth to a style uniquely her own, an emotionally charged vehicle for themes of loss, nostalgia and the bonfire of innocence which was the Algerian civil war of the 1990s. Two subsequent albums, ‘Deb’ and ‘Mesk Elil’, have only served to fortify her reputation and deepen her enigma.
Mashrou’ Leila is a six-member band that fuses the craftiness of a music workshop with the punch of stadium rock. With their distinct approach to storytelling and orchestration, they have crafted some of the most melancholic ballads and raucous anthems in contemporary alternative Arabic music.
Jadal is a Jordanian Rock Band, formed by composer, guitarist, and producer Mahmoud Radaideh in 2003. One of the first Arabic rock bands in the region, they started their journey by grabbing listener’s attention with their cover “Kol Ma Gool Al-Tobah” for the legendary Egyptian artist Abdel Halim Hafez in Jadal’s Arabic Rock style. Known for their lively performances, Jadal’s music breaks boundaries, and challenges the music scene. Their diverse fans, both rock and Arabic music fans prove that music isn’t biased to language or background.
Emel Mathlouthi: A strident songstress whose intensity is cloaked in melliflous vocals, Emel Mathlouthi is also known for her role as a leading artist in the Arab Spring. Her powerful vocals laid over a unique mix of north african rythyms and modern electronic beats. Her 2015 was prolific, including work on a new album with producer valgeir siggurdson and culminating with her solo performance at the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony. Called one of the top fifteen acts of 2015 by popmatters, Emel Mathlouthi is a unique artist with a powerful message and a voice beyond comparison.
Salhi: The exceptional meeting between percussionist Imed Alibi, Sufi singer Mounir Troudi, and jazz trumpetist Michel Marre serves to create a new expression of Bedouin musical heritage, in particular the “Salhi” which brings together mysticism, poetry, and atmospheres of party and trance. Although considered folk, the Bedouin and Soufi songs made the heart of a country beat at a time when the free word was restricted.
Abri & The Funk Radius: Nominated for MTV Europe’s Music Award for Best Middle East Act, Hamdan Al-Abri is an Emirati singer/songwriter and one of the founders of Dubai-based soul band ABRI. One of the most well known names on the UAE’s homegrown music scene, Hamdan Al-Abri has been recognized time and time again for his talent. Playing music from a young age, he has already released two critically acclaimed albums and toured with legends such as Erykah Badu, Ziggy Marley, Arrested Development, Kanye West and Joss Stone.
Neobyrd: Egyptian electronic musician and record producer NEOBYRD garnered mainstream recognition after two tracks from his first album “With You Again” and “My Sweet Heartless” were played on Egypt’s biggest radio station, Nile FM. He is also known for his remixes for Daft Punk, Four Tet, NEUS & Egyptian Legend Hany Shenouda. His music video for ‘My Sweet Heartless’ was chosen as one of the top music videos of 2012 by Egyptian publication Ahram Online, winning in 2007, 3rd place and Special prize in a competition organized by ‘Ableton Live’.
Tickets: Early bird AED235; Regular AED295; Student AED245; VIP AED445