DUBAI: Riyadh’s music festival SOUNDSTORM has returned with an exciting lineup of international musicians, Arab pop stars, and Saudi talent, including DJ and producer Nouf Sufyani, also known by her stage name Cosmicat.
She told Arab News that the festival, which runs until Dec. 19, had opened a “world of opportunities for the music community” in Saudi Arabia.
“As local talent, we’ve got a huge opportunity now and can see a lot of artists rising to the surface and getting the recognition they truly deserve. MDLBEAST is a game-changer for the music industry in Saudi and the region.
“We’ve had a thriving underground music community in Saudi for so long. Today, we can pursue our dreams in Saudi, grow our talent through industry events and connect with the wider regional music scene and professionals,” she said.
Jeddah born and raised, Cosmicat produces electronic music, specifically deep house, and techno. She grew up listening to pop, disco, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop, the influence of all noticeable in her music selection.
“I bought my first set of gear online and began DJing in my bedroom, using my innate understanding of music flow and online resources to teach myself.
“I decided to take my passion up a level with learning how to mix records and one thing led to another. People started recognizing my sound and I was lucky enough to pursue making music and being able to take my passion as a career,” she added.
Her stage name Cosmicat comes from her love for cats. “Combine that with my deep interest in cosmology and there you have it, Cosmicat,” she said.
Being a female DJ in the Kingdom has not been without its challenges.
“The most challenging part is thriving in a male-dominated industry which is also quite niche. This isn’t the case only in the region, but worldwide.
“We never had actual career opportunities for musicians yet alone female musicians. Now we’ve got our dreams served to us with incredible opportunities for growth,” she added.
When she started her music career, Cosmicat got support from her family and friends, but some people predicted she would never go far in the industry as a Saudi woman. “I never let it affect me – and look how far we’ve come now?” she said.
Cosmicat took to the stage in 2019 during the first edition of MDLBEAST SOUNDSTORM, an experience she said was a “special moment” in her career. “I’m very proud to be able to perform in my country at one of the biggest music festivals in the world.”
The record producer is working on releasing an EP with three to four tracks. “It’ll be focused on my emotional journey, but it’s still work in progress. Stay tuned,” she added.