DUBAI: In March 2020, Spotify launched RADAR, an emerging-artist program spotlighting rising talent from around the globe. Spanning across Germany, Japan, Brazil, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and beyond, the program has now surpassed more than 2 billion global streams.
Marking the next chapter of the program in the region, Spotify has collaborated with Jordanian viral sensation Issam Al-Najjar as its latest RADAR artist in the MENA region. The partnership will see the global chart-topper collaborate with Canadian music production and DJ duo Loud Luxury and Iraqi-Canadian singer and songwriter Ali Gatie for the release of “Turning Me Up” (original in Arabic: “Hadal Ahbek”). The new single will be available on Spotify on Friday.
“Our partnership with rising superstar Issam Al-Najjar marks another exciting chapter in our commitment to empowering emerging artists and strengthening their connection to regional and global audiences,” said Wissam Khodur, artist and label partnerships, Spotify MENA. “We have been closely watching Issam’s steady ascent over the past few months — gaining immense popularity as a viral icon and building a vast community of fans in a remarkably organic way.”
The program will further strengthen Al-Najjar’s global popularity with the music streaming company by putting out editorial and marketing support, including billboard placements in New York’s Times Square, as well as a host of social media promotions to help fans from around the world discover his music.
The 17-year-old singer-songwriter’s recent single dominated the top spot on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 with more than 30 million streams. He also landed the No. 1 position in similar viral country charts including the US, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and Egypt.
Al-Najjar said, “‘Hadal Ahbek’ was a turning point in my career. Getting the chance to revisit it in English with Ali Gatie and Loud Luxury is insane. To add to that, having Spotify back me up and include me as part of their RADAR program is a great opportunity not only on a local level but on a global one as well.”
Universal Music, which recently launched Universal Arabic Music for the MENA region, also signed on Al-Najjar.
Since its launch, RADAR’s artists have collectively generated over 100 million hours of listening and have reached more than 112 million listeners.