DUBAI: Saudi Arabia-based Kuwaiti pop singer Bader Al-Shuaibi is making waves with his latest hit, a Spotify-sponsored collaboration with K-Pop star AleXa called “Is It On.”
The singer released the K-Pop-style track with upbeat music and a distinctive reggaeton rhythm in May.
In an interview with Arab News, Al-Shuaibi said that the song, which mixes Arabic, Korean and English lyrics, represents a novel style of music. “(It is) unfamiliar but interesting and fun,” he said. “It blends cultures and backgrounds and even people.”
“It’s 2021, we barely see any borders between cultures and people. This project is the child of globalization and my personal love for Korean Pop culture,” Al-Shuaibi said.
In just one week, the song has accumulated more than 930,000 views on YouTube alone.
The artist said that the feedback he has been receiving on the collaboration was “crazy!”
“Good kind of crazy, people are loving this release. Everyone I know, in addition to the comments across all platforms, are loving the song and it started to be the song of the summer,” Al-Shuaibi said.
The success of “Is It On” has motivated the singer to create more music for his fans.
Al-Shuaibi revealed that he is working on his third album, which is expected to be released in 2022. He also teased fans by saying that he is preparing for more collaborations that his supporters will enjoy.
Talking about the rising star AleXa, Al-Shuaibi said that she was “an extremely talented artist.”
“Together, I believe, we created the coolest cross-cultural collaboration ever,” said the singer.
Meanwhile, AleXa said in a statement: “I’m so grateful for this collaboration. It’s a fresh, never-heard-before mix of cultures and sound.”
K-Pop has been performing well in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) with a 140 percent year-on-year increase in K-Pop consumption from January 2020 to 2021, according to Spotify. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Morocco and Egypt are currently the top five countries in the region streaming K-Pop music.
The collaboration between Al-Shuaibi and AleXa is part of Spofity’s RADAR initiative, which is an emerging-artist program spotlighting rising talent from around the globe, spanning Germany, Japan, Brazil and the MENA region.