First European Music Week begins in Riyadh

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First European Music Week begins in Riyadh


Head of programming at Saudi Arabia’s XP Music Futures discusses event ahead of December return 

DUBAI: Yasmine Rasool, head of programming at XP Music Futures, revealed that this year’s edition will seek to be more than just a music conference, “but rather a catalyst for change, a bridge for diverse voices, and a platform for empowerment and excellence in the Saudi music sector.”  

The event, now in its third edition, will run from Dec. 7 to 9.  

Rasool, who is an active member of the cultural scene in the UAE, London and New York, said in a released statement that she deeply believes in supporting regional artists globally.

Rasool is part of a network of relationships across museums, galleries and cinemas with which she regularly collaborates to connect creators around the world.  

She said that her experience in laying the groundwork for the music industry through workshops, dialogues, focus groups, communication opportunities, and deep research at other music conferences resulted in the launch of XP Music Futures. 

“(The event) represented a key change enabler in the Saudi artistic and cultural scene, driving the industry towards unprecedented horizons, and making the Saudi music sector lead the industry in the region,” she said, adding that “XP has successfully broadened the scope for music industry professionals from all backgrounds, empowering artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and policy makers, which makes this journey such a fulfilling one.” 

In the statement, Rasool said that eight initiatives will be launched to support and educate “the next generation of talented people in music and support integration to advance the music scene in the MENA region.”  

“These initiatives include XPerform initiative launched in cooperation with YouTube and sponsored by Formula 1 STC Saudi Grand Prix, to perform the mission of discovering the emerging talents in the region through a singing competition to test the potential of creating stars, public acceptance, and sound quality,” she explained.  

There was also the XCHANGE initiative, which is a series of workshops conducted this year in four cities: Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Amman and Riyadh, to get a better understanding of the regional music scene and its strengths.  

Rasool said that XP will launch Hunna, an initiative to support women through an individual guiding program designed to connect successful women in the music industry with emerging talents to promote equality in the regional music scene.  

Rasool highlighted that the transformation of the music scene in Saudi Arabia is progressing smoothly and “the community is building together beautifully.”  



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