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Industry leaders at XP Music Futures predict Arab region as next global music hub

The second MDLBEAST’s XP Music Futures conference, platforming regional and international industry leaders and experts, at Diriyah’s Jax District, concludes on Wednesday.

The event kicked off on Monday with an enticing performance by up-and-coming Saudi talents Ntitled and MOT, who opened for various keynote speakers, including Mathew Knowles, Elyanna, Hardwell and Amy Thomson to discuss the evolution of the region’s music industry.

MDLBEAST Chief Creative Officer Ahmad Al-Ammary, also known as Baloo, said that the anuual XP focuses on growing the local scene, nurturing talent, diversifying sound, development, management, label acquisition and scene navigation.

“Last year, it was about the local brands. This year, it’s about the regional brands. We’re expanding to more sounds, more genres. Whatever your sound might be, you have a place for it here,” Al-Ammary told Arab News.

The XP day experience championed engaging educational opportunities across various avenues: revolutionizing regional music, generating hits, music in the Metaverse age, the role of the artist, cultural representation within the global scene, pushing boundaries, utilizing social media and streaming services, and much more in a series of workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities.

The XP night experience, which saw a lineup of over 130 artists throughout the conference, presented a unique glimpse into talents from the Middle East and North Africa’s music scene, from psychedelic minimal techno to R&B and hip-hop.

Also featured were a DJ competition, drum circle and experiences by DJ Shaolin and Zii, Vague, Narratives, Eko and MDLBEAST Records.

The precursor to Soundstorm 2022, the region’s largest music festival, has seen a 46 percent increase from last year’s edition, with 76 sessions across multiple platforms, focusing on key pillars of talent, impact, scene and — most recently — innovation.