Bader Al Shuaibi, Bashar al-Shatti Signed as Sony Music Middle East and Kuwait’s Ghmza Studios Team to Support Local Pop Music Scene

Sony Music Entertainment Middle East and Kuwait-based music studio and video production company Ghmza have forged a partnership to produce music and promote emerging pop artists from the Gulf Cooperation Council and across the Middle East.

Under the deal, popular actor and Arabic pop singer Bader Al Shuaibi, and Kuwaiti singer, songwriter and television personality Bashar al-Shatti will be the first two artists to work with Sony Music in the Gulf region.

A pioneer in the genre known as Khaleeji pop reinvention – the term Khaleeji refers to nationals of six states: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the U.A.E. and Oman – Bader Al Shuaibi has over one billion audio and video streams and three million social media followers, according to a Sony Music statement.

He has just released his first single titled “An Hob” with Sony Music Middle East and is also slated for more singles and a new album launching later this year, aiming to become a breakthrough global Arabic talent in 2023.

Bashar al-Shatti – who is already well known for several songs and is a former “Arab Idol” judge – will release his first single with Sony Music Middle East in Nov. 2022, with more projects lined up.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with the talented team at Ghmza,” said Mike Fairburn, General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, in the statement.

Farburn went on to point out that “The Middle East and North Africa [MENA] are a dynamic hotbed for talent and music innovation, where a young population continues to drive new waves of sounds and collaborations, reaching an ever-growing audience of Arabic listeners around the world.”

Said Ghamza founder and CEO Thamer Al Thamer: “Sony Music has decades of experience in the industry and will be able to give our artists access to global music and production experts and new platforms to reach wider audiences. As a culturally diverse region brimming with musical talent, we have so much to offer and now is the opportunity to showcase that to the world and grow our genre.”

The partnership comes at a time when MENA has become one of the fastest growing regions for music. According to the 2022 International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) Global Music Report more than half (54%) of the population in the region listen to at least one local genre, as music revenues rise 35%.

“Through Sony Music Middle East’s partnership with Ghmza, the company seeks to contribute to the growth of the industry by supporting and nurturing creative talent from the Middle East, its belief in Khaleeji pop, and the emergence of the genre as a MENA sound,” said the statement noting that “This will also broaden Sony Music Entertainment’s footprint across the region.”

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