In collaboration with ON.DXB festival, Dubai Media City has launched a new Instagram Live series called through which they aim to bring together artists and experts in the music industry, in order to trigger insightful and educational conversations about the opportunities and drawbacks present in the UAE music scene.


The inaugural session, which lasted almost two hours, brought together Somali rap pioneer, Freek, and leading media/entertainment lawyer, Mark Hill, a specialist in intellectual property and technology law. It covered topics ranging from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the music industry and live events, to methods of protecting intellectual property, as well as the ‘gaps’ present within the MENA music infrastructure. 


“An artist’s best pleasure is performing in front of others, it’s difficult to flourish without that aspect,” said Freek regarding the limiting of live events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In past years, the Somali artists has been considered one of the rising stars of the GCC and Arab underground rap scene, having been selected to compose the music for an Adidas campaign featuring Liverpool striker Mohamaed Salah, as well as having opened for Future and Gucci Mane during the 2019 Yasalam F1 After-Race Concert.


Speaking on the positives of the COVID-19 crises, Mark Hill exclaimed enthusiasm for “the increase in community-building” that has been taking place online. 


“People have been forced to pause their routine, which has resulted in increased collaboration between artists and creatives within the community. That, in turn, should result in the community growing and evolving at a faster rate than before.”

The next episode of MUSIC_ON is set to go live on Saturday June 27th at 8PM Dubai time, and will feature journalist and music enthusiast, Saeed Saeed, alongside Spek, a songwriter, producer and found of PopArabia, a music rights company that operates across MENA.

Follow Dubai Media City on Instagram for updates on MUSIC_ON.

Photo credit: Khalifa Alsaeedi