DUBAI: Saudi Arabia has played host to some huge international acts over the past year or so as the Kingdom’s entertainment scene has opened up to live performances. But there haven’t been so many opportunities for alternative local or regional acts playing original material.
That could be about to change, as the Bahrain-based concert series MuseNight makes its debut in Saudi Arabia on Friday, January 24 at the Bohemia Art Cafe in Alkhobar with a lineup including Khaleeji electronic duo Arabesque, singer-songwriter Aveora and experimental electronic artist Hasan Hujairi. Entrance is free.
Over the past couple of years. MuseNight, an offshoot of the indie label Museland, has showcased over 30 acts — from solo artists to full bands to DJs — hailing from Bahrain, Saudi, Kuwait, UAE and from as far as the UK and Canada.
“With the incredible changes to the cultural and creative landscape happening in the Kingdom, we felt it was the right time to explore the alternative and independent scene with this concept,” Museland founder and creative director Ali Al-Saeed explained in a press release for the event.
Talking to Arab News about the roster for the night, Al-Saeed told Arab News, “We wanted to put a strong lineup that offers something fresh with their original music.”
Arabstract, he said, “have been gaining some momentum because they are venturing into a new musical landscape for the Bahrani alternative scene — they blend the best of both live performance and electronic music with a Khaleeji flavor.” Al-Saeed said Aveora’s music is “quite accessible, catchy but drenched in emotion. The performance is always powerful and impactful.”
And the Museland boss described Hujairi as “quite an enigma.”
“He is by far one of the most challenging artists working today,” Al-Saeed said. “Every performance he brings something different and unexpected, combining electronic music, sampling, programming and instrumentation.”
Al-Saeed hopes it will be the first in a series of shows in Saudi for MuseNight. “There’s a wealth of exceptional talent that is eager to evolve, and an audience that is just as eager to discover new music,” he said. “We’ve had a number of KSA-based bands performing in Bahrain with us, so we’re happy to have a few Bahraini acts performing in Saudi for the first time as well.”