Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert

Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
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Lead singer Koyomi.
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
Special Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
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Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing in the aisles when they took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.
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Guitarist Yoma.
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Drummer Bobuji.
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Bassist Kyoya.
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Updated 14 June 2022

Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert

Japanese rock band delights anime, manga fans at Jeddah Season concert
  • Concertgoers sang along to songs from popular manga series such as Naruto, One Piece, Dragon Ball, Jujutsu Kaisen, and Tokyo Ghoul during the band’s first appearance in Saudi
  • Koyomi: In this event, Jeddah Season, we felt that all of our fans here loved anime more than we thought

JEDDAH: Members of the Japanese rock group Koyomi Band had fans of anime and manga dancing to their tune when they recently took to the stage as part of Jeddah Season.

Anime Village, one of the port city festival’s activity zones, on Sunday played host to a second show by the group that had otaku (passionate followers of the cartoon culture) in raptures.

Concertgoers sang along to songs from popular manga series such as “Naruto,” “One Piece,” “Dragon Ball,” “Jujutsu Kaisen,” and “Tokyo Ghoul” during the band’s first appearance in Saudi Arabia.

Lead singer, Koyomi, told Arab News: “In this event, Jeddah Season, we felt that all of our fans here loved anime more than we thought.”

And Yoma, the group’s guitarist, said: “I never thought that people in Saudi Arabia loved Japanese anime so much. I’m surprised and want to return again soon.”

Drummer Bobuji noted the warmth of the welcome from the Jeddah City Walk audience. “Even though I cannot express my feelings to the fans in words, I can through music,” he said.

Meanwhile, bassist Kyoya said he was impressed with the Anime Village. “It was awesome, and the fans’ reaction was amazing. The fans were most welcoming, and that made us very happy,” he added.

Visitor Rana Bukhari, 20, said: “They played opening songs from my favorite anime shows, and their concert was so much fun. They sang beautifully and got the crowd excited to sing with them.”

Adel Khalid, 34, another fan of Japanese anime, lauded the targeted Jeddah Season event.

He said: “There are a lot of people in Jeddah and the Kingdom that love anime and attending a concert like Koyomi’s was such a special experience for me.”

Hala Yanba’awi, 25, said: “I learned new greeting phrases such as konnichiwa (hello) and arigato (thank you) from the volunteers in the store, maze, and virtual reality room.

“The Anime Village is actually my favorite zone because I find the events there to be the most fun. I love how colorful it is too,” she added.

Before setting up the band, Koyomi was the main vocalist for the group Re:ply performing concert tours around the world.


Industry experts help shape XP Music Futures program for 2022

Industry experts help shape XP Music Futures program for 2022
Updated 15 August 2022

Industry experts help shape XP Music Futures program for 2022

Industry experts help shape XP Music Futures program for 2022
  • DJs, rappers, producers sign up to new advisory board
  • Innovation and diversity are key pillars of this year’s event, organizers say

RIYADH: XP Music Futures has created an advisory board of industry insiders to ensure maximum diversity and innovation when it stages its second festival in November.

Among those appointed to the so-called board of advocates and advisors are American rapper Kim Renard Nazel — better known as Arabian Prince — music producer and record label founder Saud Alturki, immersive audio specialist Marcela Rada, digital media expert Natasha Stambuli, and the regional head of A&R and marketing at Sony Music Middle East Karima Damir.

Mohammed Bajbaa, who founded Saudi clothing brand Proud Angeles and fashion consultancy Proud X, Saudi rapper Jara and DJ Space Boi, will also be on the board.

XP director Nada Alhelabi said: “83 percent of last year’s attendees loved XP because of its programming. Partnering with a diverse set of professionals means guests see representation they can identify with and relate to.

“Our trusted board of advocates and advisors serve as one way for us to stay connected to communities … and deliver another great edition of valuable cultural and music exchange, tangible progress and inspire unlimited innovation.”

With its Day and Nite program and focus on innovation through disruptive, forward-thinking methods, XP is the forerunner within the MENA region for the music and creative industries.

It will not only discover and discuss how new technology is the driver of change in the music ecosystem – exploring the fast-moving Web3, the new iteration on blockchain technology and Metaverse – but also bring technology for guests to experience in immersive installations.

Its other core pillars of talent, scene and impact will work to implement ways to flourish careers in the music industry, nurture the scene through workshops and panels, and initiate dialogue around music, mental health and well-being, and their role in creating a socially conscious industry.

“The ultimate objective of XP is to accelerate the development and transformation of the music landscape across the Middle East,” Alhelabi said. “We are grateful to be driving, crafting and optimizing wonders into our world.”

The festival runs from Nov. 28-30. Music professionals and enthusiasts can register at https://mdlbeast.com/events/xp-2022.


Saudi Arabia continues to rank among top 5 overseas markets for ‘Bullet Train’ 

Saudi Arabia continues to rank among top 5 overseas markets for ‘Bullet Train’ 
Updated 15 August 2022

Saudi Arabia continues to rank among top 5 overseas markets for ‘Bullet Train’ 

Saudi Arabia continues to rank among top 5 overseas markets for ‘Bullet Train’ 

NEW YORK: The Brad Pitt action film “Bullet Train” led all movies in ticket sales for a second straight weekend, according to studio estimates this week, with Saudi Arabia continuing to earn a spot on the overseas play ranking.

David Leitch’s assassin-crowded film grossed $114.5 million globally in two weeks from 61 overseas markets. 

Saudi Arabia led the Middle East and North Africa market with $3.6 million and it ranked among the top five globally. 

Overseas play was led by France with $5.8 million. The UK is currently at $6 million. Mexico has grossed $5.4 million, followed by Australia’s $4.1 million and Saudi Arabia and Spain at $3.6 million each. 

The Sony Pictures film cost $90 million to make. 


REVIEW: ‘Day Shift’ is a horror show in the worst possible sense

REVIEW: ‘Day Shift’ is a horror show in the worst possible sense
Updated 15 August 2022

REVIEW: ‘Day Shift’ is a horror show in the worst possible sense

REVIEW: ‘Day Shift’ is a horror show in the worst possible sense
  • Netflix vampire movie has little going for it

LONDON: Hitting screens in the Middle East and North Africa, Netflix’s latest horror action movie “Day Shift” could be about to disappoint.

What is it with Netflix and sucking the life out of interesting new IPs? If it is not “Bright” or “Project Power,” it is “Outside the Wire” or “Thunder Force” — seemingly fascinating and original science fiction and fantasy movie ideas that wind up less than the sum of their parts?

So it is with “Day Shift,” the streaming giants’ new horror-action caper starring Jamie Foxx as vampire hunter Bud, and Dave Franco as his nerdy union representative. The notion that vampire hunting could be a viable career path in the San Fernando Valley, with unionized payouts for turned-in fangs and a benefits package, is moderately entertaining. Unfortunately, stuntman JJ Perry’s directorial debut never gets beyond that initial premise, all-too-quickly devolving into a tonally nonsensical plot and script, one-note characters and wooden performances across the board — it says something when a cameo from Snoop Dogg is far from the worst performance in a movie.

The film stars US actor Jamie Foxx. (Supplied)

Even having watched it, it is hard to sum up what the movie’s plot is, or why Karla Souza’s rent-a-villain Audrey (a vampire real estate mogul … no joke) wants Bud and his family to suffer. In keeping with his stunt background, the only time Perry’s movie comes to life is during some of the more inventive action sequences. There are some interesting drone shots that keep one particular chase sequence zipping along, and the choreography of some of Foxx’s vampire slaying is suitably kinetic. But everything else feels depressingly derivative — this is every vampire movie you have ever seen before, only done worse, and stretched so thin that you can see where the script is playing for time before launching into the next predictably bombastic set piece.

Much like many of its characters, “Day Shift” is a movie that needs putting out of its misery. We can only hope that, despite Netflix’s obvious quest for a new family of franchises, this one stays dead.


Egyptian musician Ali Loka gets his own Spotify mini-documentary

Egyptian musician Ali Loka gets his own Spotify mini-documentary
Updated 13 August 2022

Egyptian musician Ali Loka gets his own Spotify mini-documentary

Egyptian musician Ali Loka gets his own Spotify mini-documentary
  • ‘I still carry the same attitude and work ethic. I never tire of this process,’ viral music star tells Arab News

DUBAI: For Egyptian singer-songwriter Ali Loka, music is about telling personal stories. As Spotify’s latest RADAR ARABIA artist, he now has the opportunity to tell those stories to a wider audience through his own mini documentary.

“I don’t sing about anything that I didn’t go through, feel very deeply or have seen someone close to me live through,” said Loka in an interview with Arab News.

“If you listen deeply and want to know more about me, you’ll hear everything that has to do with me, all my personal stories and everything that’s happening in my life. All the small intimate details that I cannot talk about face to face are in my music. Music is how I can express everything that’s happening to me.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ali Loka (@aly_louka)

The music streaming platform worked with Loka to release a mini-documentary, where fans can follow Loka around Cairo, from the stage to downtown to Giza, to get an intimate look at his journey from starting as a solo artist to joining a band and then going solo again.

The film also looks into Loka’s viral track “Matkhafeesh Yamma,” which dropped in November 2021, taking the singer-songwriter to new levels of stardom. The song is currently the most-streamed Egyptian song outside of Egypt on the platform, with 73 percent of its Spotify streams coming from non-Egyptian markets.

But the song’s success can be attributed to Loka’s dedication to his art and a prolific work ethic.

“Before ‘Matkhafeesh Yamma’s’ release, there was a lot of work in the making. ‘Matkhafeesh Yamma’ was released in November 2021 and before that, my team and I had released about 20 tracks. Since 2020, we have released around 30 tracks. The inspiration for the track came from within. It was the feeling I was going through and felt the need to say out loud,” said Loka.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ali Loka (@aly_louka)

One of his bigger musical dreams is to perform in front of the pyramids in Cairo. “And not just in the area but right in front of Khofu, the biggest of the pyramids. I want the pyramids to be distinctive in the background, not too far away,” said Loka.

About his future plans, Loka said: “I have some releases coming and tracks that I am working on. This time, they are even more organized than before. It is the same working process that I have been following all my life. I still carry the same attitude and work ethic. I never tire of this process. I am also shooting a music video to get released in August.”


Renowned Croatian cello duo 2CELLOS to visit UAE, Egypt on farewell tour

Renowned Croatian cello duo 2CELLOS to visit UAE, Egypt on farewell tour
Updated 14 August 2022

Renowned Croatian cello duo 2CELLOS to visit UAE, Egypt on farewell tour

Renowned Croatian cello duo 2CELLOS to visit UAE, Egypt on farewell tour

DUBAI: Popular Croatian cello duo 2CELLOS, made up of Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, are ready to hang up their bows, but not before a farewell world tour that will include the Middle East this year.

“The Dedicated Tour” is headed to Hurghada, Egypt, on Nov. 18 and in Dubai the following day as part of the tour.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 2CELLOS (@2cellosofficial)

The two musicians have already performed sellout shows in France, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Austria.

2CELLOS play instrumental arrangements of pop and rock hits, as well as classical and film music, and have featured on US television series, including “Glee” and “The Bachelor.”

The duo rose to fame in 2011 after their cover of “Smooth Criminal” became a YouTube hit, receiving over 3 million views in the first two weeks. Their debut eponymous album was released in 2011, with covers of songs by rock bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Coldplay, Nirvana, Muse and Kings of Leon.