Saudi artist Nujood Al-Otaibi to take McLaren F1 x Vuse studio residency in Dubai

Saudi artist Nujood Al-Otaibi to take McLaren F1 x Vuse studio residency in Dubai
Saudi artist Nujood Al-Otaibi. (Supplied)
Short Url
Updated 10 June 2023
Follow

Saudi artist Nujood Al-Otaibi to take McLaren F1 x Vuse studio residency in Dubai

Saudi artist Nujood Al-Otaibi to take McLaren F1 x Vuse studio residency in Dubai

DUBAI: Saudi artist Nujood Al-Otaibi says she feels lucky to have become one of the first artists to be awarded a residency at Dubai’s Studio Thirteen – a special initiative led by the McLaren F1 team and Vuse to help underrepresented artists. 

“I'm still in the process of creating my own style as well as my identity. And because I have changed my style from hyper realistic to abstract, I feel that luckily that change came at the right time in my life to help me extend my knowledge,” the 35-year-old told Arab News.

“Every artist, in their emergent time, needs a mentor to support them and to guide them. Especially in residency, there will also be a community of partners who will help one open my eyes and I will be able to gain more knowledge. Being a part of an artist community is amazing,” she added.

Through the residency, Al-Otaibi will have access to the funded studio space housed in Studio Thirteen, the home of artist Rabab Tantawy, who designed the McLaren car livery at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Tantawy will mentor other artists in the residency.

With affordable studios becoming rare, this studio space aims to provide a creative hub for artists like Al-Otaibi to hone their craft over the next five to six months.

For Al-Otaibi, who is known for her work inspired by her own hearing loss at the age of five, the residency is also a platform for her to affect change and inspire others to live in their own truth.

“I feel like the more people go out and talk about themselves and the challenges they face, the more it inspires others. So, I feel like other people would understand and be like, ‘Oh, yeah, we have to help people who have challenges. I want to encourage creatives with disabilities to step out and not be ashamed or scared of people’s judgements,” she said.

“After expressing my emotions and telling my story, everyone was very supportive. I was not expecting that. I thought no one would support me, no one would understand. But once I let it out, it was amazing. So, now, I wish I can tell everyone that you can do it, too.”


Dutch DJs Basicz and NoTune to ‘pull out all the stops’ at Freaks of Nature in Riyadh 

Dutch DJs Basicz and NoTune to ‘pull out all the stops’ at Freaks of Nature in Riyadh 
Updated 03 October 2023
Follow

Dutch DJs Basicz and NoTune to ‘pull out all the stops’ at Freaks of Nature in Riyadh 

Dutch DJs Basicz and NoTune to ‘pull out all the stops’ at Freaks of Nature in Riyadh 

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s homegrown boutique music festival Freaks of Nature is back for its latest edition this weekend in Riyadh.   

Set to take to the stage at the two-day open air music festival are Dutch DJs Basicz and NoTune, returning for the second time to perform in the Kingdom.  
“Our last visit to Saudi Arabia was an absolute blast. The warmth and hospitality we received from the people there were incredible. We're really looking forward to experiencing that again. Moreover, being a part of this concept that's shaping the music scene in Saudi Arabia is not just exciting, it's an honor. We're genuinely thrilled to play a role in shaping the future of music culture in this country,” said the duo in an e-mail interview with Arab News.  

The two DJs – who also have robust careers as solo artists – enjoy the collaborative process of working with each other.   

“Collaborating has been a ride. Since the early days of our careers, we've been creating music together. It's been an amazing journey that's allowed us to build a unique musical connection,” said DJ Basicz.  

“When we're in the studio or up on stage together, it's like we have this unspoken understanding that makes the creative process flow effortlessly. It's not just about making music, it's about pushing each other to new heights. We challenge ourselves to explore uncharted territories and blend our strengths to craft a show that's not just diverse but also emotionally resonant.”  

While NoTune tends to gravitate towards the darker and more adventurous side of techno music, DJ Basicz likes to explore the industrial and raw aspects of the genre.   

“We've realized that our diverse approaches let us serve up a rich and layered experience for our audience,” said DJ Basicz.  

For their upcoming show at Freaks of Nature, taking place over Oct. 5 and 6, DJ Basicz and DJ Notune are “pulling out all the stops.”  

“We are curating a set that not only fits seamlessly with the other talented artists on our stage but also promises to take the crowd on a wild ride. We're throwing in a few surprises and that signature energy that's become our trademark. It's going to be a unique experience, a musical journey that you don't want to end,” they said.  


Mona Zaki walks L’Oreal show in Paris as Saudi Model Roz looks on

Mona Zaki walks L’Oreal show in Paris as Saudi Model Roz looks on
Updated 03 October 2023
Follow

Mona Zaki walks L’Oreal show in Paris as Saudi Model Roz looks on

Mona Zaki walks L’Oreal show in Paris as Saudi Model Roz looks on

DUBAI: Egyptian actress Mona Zaki this week walked the sixth edition of L’Oreal’s Le Défilé Walk Your Worth show during Paris Fashion Week.  

Zaki, who is a brand ambassador for the label, wore a hot red mini dress that featured a high neck and a long train attached at the waist as she graced the runway at the esplanade of the Eiffel Tower.  

Zaki walked alongside a celebrity lineup that included Kendall Jenner, Elle Fanning, Eva Longoria, Dame Helen Mirren, and more. 

Saudi social media influencer Model Roz, who was in attendance, took to Instagram to share Zaki’s fashion moment on her Stories. “Mona Zaki and Coco Rocha killed it,” she wrote.  


Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 

Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 
Updated 03 October 2023
Follow

Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 

Freaks of Nature festival brings international DJs to Saudi Arabia 

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s electronic music festival Freaks of Nature is returning to Riyadh this weekend from Oct. 5 to 6. 

The two-day event, organized by Saudi creative agency Disrupt, will feature international artists including Belgian DJ and record producer Lost Frequencies, techno house legends Agents of Time, Grammy-nominated electronic music artist Nic Fanciulli and Danish DJ Morten.

The CEO of the event Yazeed Al-Hashim, chief disruption officer at Disrupt Group, described the festival to Arab News as a “crazy and quirky friend that always makes you have a great time. Imagine these qualities and personas as a full experience.”

Al-Hashim said: “Freaks of Nature is not only a music festival. We think about it as an immersive experience where everyone comes to hear great music, feel really special and have a wholesome experience that transcends through visuals, special effects and dancers. We want to create a new entertainment concept that is not only seen in Saudi but also internationally.”

A number of Saudi and regional talents will also take part in the festival including DJ Mubarak, Aziz.wav, KALI-B, Hamza Hawsawi, and Timba JD.

Al-Hashim initially launched the festival to give artists and DJs, like himself, a platform to share their music with a crowd. 

“Freaks of Nature originated from giving local artists an opportunity to play on big stages with full, amazing production. So, we’re happy we have some of the most established local artists such as Dish Dash, for example,” Al-Hashim said. 

“We also have artists that are playing for the first time in front of a public crowd in this event. So, we created this environment where we can select artists based on passion and love for music. Then we do everything, all the marketing and branding, for all the artists. So even the opening artists get their own flags, their artworks, and they get their whole set recorded.”

The CEO said that this helps boost the artists’ presence and gives them content to share online. 

Freaks of Nature will also take place in Amsterdam on Oct. 22. 

“The Riyadh event is our flagship event. That is our core business. Our participation in Europe is for us to showcase the brand to the international music community,” Al-Hashim explained.

“Amsterdam Dance Event is the biggest music conference and festival in the world, where the whole city turns into a music festival and everyone from the music industry travels to Amsterdam and that where they do their business for a year.

“So for us, it was really essential to show the international music community the Saudi entertainment scene as well as Saudi local artists.” 

Al-Hashim said that six local artists will present back-to-back sets at the Amsterdam festival. The artists will get paired up with their international idols and play the sets with them, he added.


Saudi couturier Mohammed Ashi nabs spot on BoF 500 list

Saudi couturier Mohammed Ashi nabs spot on BoF 500 list
Updated 03 October 2023
Follow

Saudi couturier Mohammed Ashi nabs spot on BoF 500 list

Saudi couturier Mohammed Ashi nabs spot on BoF 500 list

DUBAI: Saudi designer Mohammed Ashi, founder of Paris-based label Ashi Studio, this week became the first designer from the Kingdom to be included in the BoF 500 list, the Business of Fashion’s index of the people shaping the fashion industry.

The label took to Instagram to share the news, writing: “Ashi is honored to be the first Saudi designer to enter the #BOF500 … thank you @imranamed @bof for being included in the class of 2023 alongside the creative leaders in the fashion industry.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ashi Studio (@ashistudio)

Ashi launched his eponymous house 17 years ago.  

The Arab designer’s garments have been worn by countless A-listers in the past, including Beyonce, Cardi B, Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Demi Lovato, Fergie and Ava DuVernay.

Ashi previously told Arab News: “I incredibly proud of my Saudi roots … my designs are often influenced by Saudi heritage.”

Middle Eastern designer Rami Al-Ali also joined Ashi on the list and became the first Syrian designer to be included. 


K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 
Updated 03 October 2023
Follow

K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

K-Pop group Riize ‘excited’ to perform at KCon in Saudi Arabia 

DUBAI: South Korean boy band Riize are set to perform at Saudi Arabia’s K-Pop music festival KCon, which will be held at Boulevard Riyadh City on Oct. 6 and 7. 

The seven-member boy band, who made their debut to much acclaim this year, released their first single album “Get a Guitar” in September.  

The group, which features Wonbin, Seunghan, Shotaro, Sohee, Sungchan, Eunseok and Anton, will perform on the event’s first day.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KCON (@kconofficial)

In an interview with Arab News, Anton said that he was surprised to know that the Kingdom is home to fans of K-Pop.  

“I felt very thankful that there are people in Saudi Arabia who are getting to know more about K-Pop! I can’t wait for more opportunities to connect with the people there,” he said.  

His bandmate Seunghan is as excited to be meeting the group’s fans in Riyadh. His message to his fans was: “Since we don’t get to see each other often, I want to see you more and for a longer time.”  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RIIZE (@riize_official)

The singer said he hopes that the crew’s performance “inspires young talents” in Saudi Arabia to dream. “I will be really glad if that happens,” he added.  

The group has noticed the number of rising local talents in the Kingdom, with Shotaro noting he “would love to collaborate with a Saudi artist, if I meet a good opportunity.”  

Wonbin teased that he is working on new music with the band. “I think I'll be able to see you soon with wonderful music. Please look forward to it and I am also looking forward to meeting Saudi fans again,” he told Arab News.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RIIZE (@riize_official)

Riize is under South Korean multinational agency SM Entertainment, which manages groups such as Super Junior, EXO, SuperM and Red Velvet.  

On the first day, Riize will perform alongside Everglow, Highlight, Hyolyn, Kard, Super Junior-D&E (which are members Donghae and Eunhyuk) and 8Turn.  

The second day will see performances by Dreamcatcher, El7z Up, Evnne, Oh My Girl, Super Junior, Tempest and TNX.  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by RIIZE (@riize_official)

The event, which launched in Los Angeles in 2012, is said to be one of the largest Korean cultural festivals in the world and has been held in seven countries.  

The Kingdom’s hosting of the event is part of an agreement signed between the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Seoul-based entertainment company CJ ENM in June 2022. It also reflects the ministry’s efforts to boost international cultural exchange in line with the goals of Vision 2030.