Photo Credit: Enoch Lab
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.
For our second interview in this series, we sat down with Abubakar Al Jilany, a.k.a Lil Eazy, a Somalian hip-hop artist born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. In the time since his debut in 2007, Lil Eazy has become one of the biggest rap stars to come out of the region. Known for his versatility, flow, and stage presence, Lil Eazy signed to Outlaw Productions in 2017.
Lil Eazy discusses the challenges of being an Arab hip-hop artist while also talking about the importance of originality, citing the likes of Molotof, Wegz, Flipperachi and Daffy as prime examples of how a rapper can build their own unique rap sound.
Watch the video below.