Launched in 2021, MDLBEAST’s XP Music Futures Conference has rapidly become the region’s most anticipated music gathering for artists and industry professionals. With a mix of workshops, panels, and “fish bowl” conversations set across various pillars, including innovation, talent, scene, and impact, XP’s Music Futures programming cut through the many foundational aspects necessary to build a flourishing music industry, which goes beyond (but also includes) pop.

Throughout the conference, we sat down with some of the leading artists and industry professionals active within the MENA and international music landscape for insight into their work, reflections on the Saudi music scene, MDLBEAST, and music in MENA at large. The content unearthed travelled across topics of music management, artist bookings, Web3 and NFTs, data in the digital age, community building, mental health, copyrights, and establishing more venues. Each day also hosted a series of learning opportunities, including “Formula vs Trends” songwriting workshops, artist-led Maestro Xprience demos and fireside chats ranging from David Guetta to Elyanna, and masterclasses from leading platforms such as Anghami YouTube focused on artist tools and revenue generation.

As GM of Sony Middle East, Mike Fairburn has a wealth of knowledge to share about the regional music industry. In this sit-down, Fairburn discusses the role of record labels, and the importance of artists finding their voice. Having launched Vibe Music Arabia with Anghami at XP in 2021, Fairburn sheds light on the label’s mission to develop talent and independent artists in the region. 

Fairburn also points to the importance of balancing artistic intuition with data and how Sony helps to “accelerate the global footprint” of its artists.

Watch the video below: