Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel

Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel
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Saudi musicians showcase their work at Hayy Jameel as part of a project to promote emerging artists in the Kingdom. (Ayman Tamano)
Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel
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Saudi musicians showcase their work at Hayy Jameel as part of a project to promote emerging artists in the Kingdom. (Ayman Tamano)
Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel
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Saudi musicians showcase their work at Hayy Jameel as part of a project to promote emerging artists in the Kingdom. (Ayman Tamano)
Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel
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Saudi musicians showcase their work at Hayy Jameel as part of a project to promote emerging artists in the Kingdom. (Ayman Tamano)
Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel
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Saudi musicians showcase their work at Hayy Jameel as part of a project to promote emerging artists in the Kingdom. (Ayman Tamano)
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Updated 15 March 2022

Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel

Young Saudi musicians put on soulful show at Hayy Jameel
  • Ghada Sheri, 26, performed her Arabic-Indie songs for enthusiastic crowd
  • Emerging artists collaborate with US university and Grammy nominee John Merchant

JEDDAH: Some of the most talented young Saudi musicians showcased their work at Hayy Jameel on Tuesday as part of a project to promote emerging artists in the Kingdom.

The musical experience was a collaboration between the Jeddah-based creative hub, Middle Tennessee State University and Grammy-nominated sound engineer, John Merchant.

Dr. Sean Foley, a professor at the university who specializes in Saudi arts and culture, attended the musical experience, with Merchant managing the sound.

The performers who serenaded the crowd were Ghada Sheri, Hamza Hawsawi, Ahmed Amin and Moe Abdo.

Sara Al-Omran, the deputy director at Hayy Jameel, told Arab News that their goal with the concert was to promote new artists. “We wanted to really amplify and bring forward the emerging artists who are doing something exciting and are trying to explore music as an art form … that’s why we picked these singers.”

Ghada Sheri, a 26-year-old singer-songwriter, performed some of her own innovative Arabic-Indie songs. “I thought that it would be a great experience as Hayy Jameel is a beautiful place with a beautiful community. It was on women’s day as well so it all came together perfectly,” she told Arab News.

Sheri rocked a pink suit while performing songs that she had written herself. She said that after years of singing alone in her room she found a place that she belongs to and a platform through which she can convey her messages. “I want Saudi musicians and artists to know that there is always a place for them, and they should stick to their dreams.”

Abdo, a 30-year-old with multiple musical talents, performed his own composition at the beginning of the concert and then played bass and guitar for the rest of the night with other musicians. Abdo, a Sudanese artist, born and raised in Saudi, said that he has seen how audiences have changed in the country along with shifts in the music scene.

Amin performed several of his own soulful R&B songs and then jammed with other performers with beautiful beats on his drums. Hawsawi, who won the X-Factor Middle East competition in 2015, ended the night by performing an up-beat song that left the crowd buzzing with energy and eager for more.

Hawsawi told Arab News: “These events mean a lot for artists like us because it places us under the spotlight, especially today. This concert allowed us to interact with the people on a semi-personal level because of the intimate setting.

Rakan Farhan, the project manager of the event, hoped that the concert would help to promote the Saudi music industry, to meet international standards, and create a space where local and Western sounds can meet.

“We have a mentality here in our community that if one of us is successful, all of us are successful, that is why we are supporting each other. The songs that we are (composing) show our cultural perspective as musicians to the world,” Farhan told Arab News.

Speaking to Arab News as the performers strutted their stuff, Foley said he was impressed with the artists. “My one goal from tonight was for the people to see how strong the independent music scene is in the Kingdom. I look at the artistic and cultural community with a sense of awe. The artists that I have talked to have opened my eyes to things I have never seen before.”

Foley said that he comes from a family of writers, poets, and performers, but sought to collaborate with Merchant for his deep understanding of the music industry.


Canadian model Winnie Harlow spotted at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia

Canadian model Winnie Harlow spotted at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia
Winnie Harlow attends the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Scott Garfitt)
Updated 29 January 2023

Canadian model Winnie Harlow spotted at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia

Canadian model Winnie Harlow spotted at Formula E Diriyah E-Prix in Saudi Arabia

DUBAI: Canadian model Winnie Harlow was spotted in Saudi Arabia this weekend attending the Formula E Diriyah E-Prix.

 The model was part of the thousands of fans who watched on as 22 of the fastest electric race cars ever built raced for the second time this weekend.

 “The experience at Formula E is unmatched and I’ve really enjoyed the vibe, people, atmosphere, and racing. I’ve been to Saudi Arabia a few times and always have a great experience, so I love that Formula E is in Diriyah,” Harlow said in a released statement.

“Living in a more sustainable world and being able to enjoy motorsports at the same time is incredible,” she added. 

Harlow rubbed shoulders with the likes of John Legend, Martin Garrix, Miguel and French Montana, who performed at the event’s after-race concert series.

Netflix series “Emily in Paris” star Lucien Laviscount was also in attendance.

“I’m a massive fan of motorsport and anything to do with cars. Seeing the new GEN3 race car on track for the first time was insane,” he said in a released statement. “It looks like a fighter jet on wheels and sounds like it’s from a sci-fi movie. Formula E are leading the world in electric car innovation. I’m in line for an electric vehicle and this has really given me a taste.”


Review: More dungeons and more dragons — ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ season two is a ‘critical’ hit  

Review: More dungeons and more dragons — ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ season two is a ‘critical’ hit  
Updated 29 January 2023

Review: More dungeons and more dragons — ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ season two is a ‘critical’ hit  

Review: More dungeons and more dragons — ‘The Legend of Vox Machina’ season two is a ‘critical’ hit  

DUBAI: It would not be an understatement to say that we are living in the golden age of television when it comes to sheer diversity in terms of content. That much is evident when a Dungeons & Dragons game that started out in someone’s living room is now a full-blown animated series on a massive streaming platform — and it has returned for a second season.   

 “The Legend of Vox Machina” is based on the hugely successful D&D actual play series Critical Role, in which players livestreamed themselves playing the tabletop game. The adult animated series made fans in its debut season for its ability to carefully balance juvenile humor with immense character depth, set against a lore-heavy fantasy setting.   

Season two builds on that promise and comes back even stronger with greater character arcs for its seven main characters: Half-elf rogue Vax’ildan (Liam O’Brien), his ranger twin sister Vex’ahlia (Laura Bailey), half-elf druid Keyleth (Marisha Ray), gnome bard Scanlan (Sam Riegel), goliath barbarian Grog (Travis Willingham), his BFF gnome paladin Pike (Ashley Johnson) and human gunslinger Percy (Taliesen Jaffe). This is an impressive feat to achieve given that the episodes have a run time of under 30 minutes.   

The new season picks up exactly where season one left off — with a group of large and ancient dragons attacking the city of Emon. Our motley crew of mercenaries/heroes, clearly underqualified for the job of defeating these powerful beings, must now go on a continent-hopping jaunt to retrieve magical artifacts that will help them in this mission.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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It is helpful here to remember that “TLOVM,” unlike any fantasy series or movie that you may have watched so far, is not based on a book or video game: It is based on a story created by a group of friends as they played a game over several years, albeit with an audience watching on Twitch and YouTube.   

And, hence, what makes the animated show such an engrossing watch, despite having a story that may seem familiar to most fans of fantasy media, is that “TLOVM” manages to accurately capture the bond between the players and translate it into endearing television.   

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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And while the personal stakes are dialed up to 11 this time around, the larger plot is not ignored either. As big as the emotional punches are, they are matched in intensity with the beautifully realized action scenes and set pieces, which will again feel familiar to anyone who has ever played a role-playing game with their friends.   

With Critical Role announcing that they will also be animating their second campaign, Mighty Nein, for Amazon, and if you are a fan of all things magic, camaraderie and epic battles, there has never been a better time to tune in and let “Vox Machina” enthrall you. 


‘Star Wars’ C3PO actor Anthony Daniels to attend MEFCC 2023 in Abu Dhabi  

‘Star Wars’ C3PO actor Anthony Daniels to attend MEFCC 2023 in Abu Dhabi  
Updated 29 January 2023

‘Star Wars’ C3PO actor Anthony Daniels to attend MEFCC 2023 in Abu Dhabi  

‘Star Wars’ C3PO actor Anthony Daniels to attend MEFCC 2023 in Abu Dhabi  

DUBAI: The force is strong with “Star Wars” fans in the Middle East.   

British actor and mime artist Anthony Daniels, best known for playing the lovable golden droid C3PO in the “Star Wars” franchise, is headed to the Middle East Film and Comic Con, set to take place in Abu Dhabi from March 3-5.   

He is the only actor to have either appeared in or been involved with all theatrical films in the series, having starred in 10 “Star Wars” films, apart from being involved in several TV shows, video games and radio serials.   

It has also been heavily hinted at that British actor, writer and filmmaker Andy Serkis will be in attendance in Abu Dhabi at the three-day event. Serkis is best known for his performance capture roles comprising motion capture acting, animation and voice work for computer-generated characters such as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” franchise, Caesar in the “Planet of the Apes” reboot trilogy, and Supreme Leader Snoke in the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy   

He most recently portrayed Kino Loy in the “Star Wars” Disney+ series “Andor.”  

However, Serkis’s attendance has not been confirmed by the organizers as of yet.  


UAE’s Blackpink fans enjoy birthday surprise at Abu Dhabi concert  

UAE’s Blackpink fans enjoy birthday surprise at Abu Dhabi concert  
Blackpink performs onstage at the 2022 MTV VMAs at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022. (AFP)
Updated 29 January 2023

UAE’s Blackpink fans enjoy birthday surprise at Abu Dhabi concert  

UAE’s Blackpink fans enjoy birthday surprise at Abu Dhabi concert  

ABU DHABI: Fans of K-Pop supergroup Blackpink were treated to a concert and surprise birthday celebration for band member Rose at the group’s performance in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night.

The chart-topping group hit the stage and performed a number of their greatest hits — including “Pink Venom” and “Lovesick Girls” — before Korean-New Zealand singer Rose, whose birthday is on Feb. 11, was surprised with a multi-tiered cake on stage. She is set to turn 26.

Bandmember Jennie was also spotted visiting Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque before the show.

Abu Dhabi is the second Middle Eastern stop on the “Born Pink” world tour after the group performed in Riyadh on Jan. 20.


US singer John Legend closes out Diriyah E-Prix 2023 with a bang 

US singer John Legend closes out Diriyah E-Prix 2023 with a bang 
Updated 29 January 2023

US singer John Legend closes out Diriyah E-Prix 2023 with a bang 

US singer John Legend closes out Diriyah E-Prix 2023 with a bang 

DUBAI: US singer-songwriter John Legend made a resounding comeback to the Middle East with his performance at the final day of the Diriyah E-Prix races in Saudi Arabia. 

From up-tempo, dance tracks like “All She Wanna Do” to his famous ballad “All of Me,” Legend had the packed audience screaming for more and singing along to every word. 

Moroccan American rapper French Montana and Egyptian singer-songwriter Mohamed EL-Hamaki also took to the stage on Saturday night. 

Returning for its ninth season and after a two-week break following an opener in Mexico City, the Diriyah E-Prix kicked off on Friday in the Saudi capital with two days of racing on the Diriyah Street Course.