THE ROUNDUP – Regional pop-culture highlights

On April 26, the French-Tunisian artist created a digital collage using a Zoom call featuring 49 people from across the world. (Supplied)
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Updated 08 May 2020

THE ROUNDUP – Regional pop-culture highlights

El Seed 

‘Art is the Shortest Path’

On April 26, the French-Tunisian artist created a digital collage using a Zoom call featuring 49 people from across the world (including US musician Aloe Blacc, who performed during the call). El Seed sent each participant a part of the artwork to set as their background, then rearranged the pieces on his screen — adding callers as they joined — to create the final piece, based on a quote from André Malraux: “Art is the shortest path from one human being to another human being.” Prints of the artwork are now for sale, with the profits being shared between hospitals in France and Tunisia. 

Ghoula 

‘Bambara’

This is the first single from the Tunisian artist’s upcoming album “Demi Écrémé.” The track is based around a sample of vocals by Abdel Majid Mihoub, a master of traditional Tunisian ‘stambeli’ music — also used as a trance-healing method. Ghoula combines traditional instruments with electronic sounds to create a haunting earworm, which is accompanied by a fantastic animated video directed by Bert Vercruysse.  

Vandalye 

‘Little Piggy’

Dubai-based trio Vandalye released their new single, “Little Piggy,” (influenced by George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”) late April. It’s something of a departure from the guitar-led indie-folk sound that first gained the young band attention, with a focus on synths at the start, before a heavy climax dominated by distorted guitars. In a press release, band member Thomas McCone explained that the band had recently got out of a contract “which, over time, restricted us,” adding, “This time we really did something which we wanted.”

Alyssa Amber

‘Strangers’

This 15-year-old Dubai-based singer-songwriter just released her debut single, a catchy pop song. According to the press release, the track “conveys a hypothetical heartfelt emotional turmoil” and contains hints of “trap, soul, RnB and pop.” The standout feature, though, is Amber’s impressive vocal ability. 


Dubai’s streetwear festival Sole DXB canceled due to pandemic

Updated 09 August 2020

Dubai’s streetwear festival Sole DXB canceled due to pandemic

DUBAI: The region’s premiere streetwear festival, Sole DXB, will not be happening in 2020, the organizers announced via a statement on Sunday.

The organizers revealed that they “aren’t confident” that they can deliver the experience festival-goers “deserve with the health and safety standards” they expect. 

“While the situation continues to improve on the ground in Dubai, the festival is a collective effort by our community around the world and we’re ready to wait ‘til they can be a part of it too,” said the statement.

Organizers also announced that they do not have a new date set. The streetwear and music festival typically takes place during the first week of December.

The urban and streetwear festival seamlessly brings together the region’s music lovers and sneakerheads, who flock to Dubai Design District to enjoy performances from top artists such as Nas and Wu Tang Clan as well as shop local and international streetwear brands.

In light of the pandemic, Sole DXB recently launched a new mixed-media platform, sole.digital, dedicated to music, fashion, the visual arts and sports from the Middle East, India, Africa, the Caribbean and their diasporas.