"UAE's urban music scene" is a phrase one wouldn't generally use to describe music in the country, but over the last few years that has all changed. As we enter into the third decade of the 2000's we are proud to boast about our local artists, from the records they produce, the wild performances they deliver, to the cultural zeitgeist of Sole DXB.
How and why is the UAE urban music scene gaining this momentum and who are the people driving it? Here's a look at 10 ten independent artists spearheading UAE's urban music scene.
The Recipe (pictured above) - Hip Hop Collective.Formed in the late 2000’s and what began as a double-digit conglomerate of hip hop artists evolved into a refined trio of rap craftsman P Storm, Swerte and Kaz Money. The group are emblematic of Dubai’s hip hop story as one of the pioneering musicians who pursued the art form here when there was no real platform for it, yet finding their way to take the main stage at Sole DXB and collaborating with legends like Talib Kweli.. therecipedxb
Santo - Rapper. A Hidden gem in the UAE scene who’s raps are delivered in the classical ‘fus7a’ Arabic language yet retain the aesthetics of the modern-day sound. An interesting and unique youngster of Algerian origin adding to the roster of musicians we are proud to rep UAE. santoxsanto
Rayan - Producer, Engineer, Songwriter and Multi-instrumentalist. Anyone who is anyone in the hip hop community has come in contact with Rayan in some way shape or form. Aside from working with an array of different rappers, singers and bands spanning multiple genres, he also imparts his skills at bootcamps and has featured as a speaker at several music industry events. We have worked with him, learned from him, and heard his signature touch throughout the scrolls of singles released with his production. m_bailouni
Seki Supervillain - Rapper. An up and coming artist in the hip hop scene, but make no mistake, the hard work has been put in over the years to get himself noticed. Also known for his impressive live performances, we advise anyone to get Seki on their radar if they aren’t already talking about his comeuppance. seki_supervillain
ABRI- Singer. Dubai-based soul band who’s frontman Hamdan Al Abri is a well recognised, respected and revered singer/songwriter in the community. The music of course speaks for itself, but perhaps his longstanding position as our go-to name when asked about talent that the UAE possesses. Truly a pride of our music scene, and Abri has surely inspired and paved the way for a new crop of musicians starting to follow suit.. abri.music
Shebani- Singer. Similar to Hamdan Al Abri, in a sense that Shebani is the type you cannot compare to any one else in her field right now, a female R&B singer who has done nothing but increase in value as an artist. The scene has seen her take form throughout the latter part of the 2010’s yet her ability to surprise us with each release gets us talking as much as listening. shebanimusic
Tac - Rapper/Producer. A multi-talented artist who’s work has been noticed collaborating with the likes of Shebani and The Recipe in recent times. Not to overshadow his individual output which elevated him to becoming among the most familiar and recognisable musicians in Dubai over the last 12 months. Tac embodies what the current UAE music scene is about - drive, presence & creativity. tac.plg
DJ Lobito - DJ. Lobito Brigante is a DJ’s DJ, based in Dubai, he is widely recognised as a pioneering contributor to Hip Hop culture in the Middle East. Lobito is a skilled turntablist and his sets span several genres spanning across funk, soul, house, disco, hip hop, reggae, afrobeats, classic hip hop and everything in between. He is also the creator and main architect of the world’s first turntables orchestra the Turntable Symphonograph Orchestra that performed at the Louvre museum in 2018 lobitobrigante
Zenden Lavon - Rapper, producer and writer. We consider Zenden an unsung hero in terms of the ‘sound of Dubai’. Whenever we hear his music, it makes us question the reason UAE hip hop is not competing on a global scale given the mature and composed end product he delivers, along with a timely creative instinct that makes our music beg to get more recognition worldwide. zendenlavon
Freek - Rapper. Abu Dhabi trap star Freak propels into this decade echoing the closing of his 2019 where he opened for Future, Kano, got playtime on DJ Ebro’s Apple ‘Beats1’ platform for his his single ‘Wala Kelma’. Freek is everything you want in an Arabic trap artist. He can rap, perform, write songs and he just generally resonates with everyone. He has, with great success, distorted the boundaries between Arabic and English music. His appeal covers both native speakers and he is gaining traction overseas, fast! freektv