todayNovember 10, 2019 28

EMC 2019’s theme explores THE NEXT NOW, and as part of this exploration we’re bringing you curated playlists that shine a light on the music that is making waves in our community .

James Locksmith has curated this incredible playlist that highlights the talent coming out of The Middle East & North Africa ahead of his appearance at EMC 2019 this week. The playlist is a journey through MENA featuring a vast array of sounds and influences that are expressed through electronic music from the region.

  1. Tell us about your selections, why do these tracks stand out for you?
I have had the pleasure to work with most of these artists on events sharing the stage and or booked them or featured them on podcasts. Some of the tracks are new 2019 releases while others are from the past 10-15 years. While there is much more to choose from, I feel these track and artist selections represent the region’s more alternative landscape of sounds, artists, electronic musicians, producers, MC’s, DJs, singers and beatmakers from indie, hip hop, beats, house and techno, covering Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, Beirut, Cairo, Jordan, Kuwait, Palestine, Bahrain and I included Iran as there is a strong crossover in the region.
2. Who is your ‘one to watch’ in 2020?

Many of these artists are already quite accomplished. For dance music, young Iranian artist and producer Salar Ansari, is someone I see a bright future in 2020 and beyond. He’s now based in Detroit, already heavily involved with legends like Derek May, A Guy Called Gerald and Patrice Scott to name a few.

3. What most excites you about the decade ahead
From the time I moved to the region in 2011 sooooo much has evolved and its not quietening down. Based on what’s happened already, it’s going to be amazing what unfolds in the next 10 years, great foundations have been laid and the infrastructure is building. I’m already witnessing under 21 emerging talent, it’s very exciting. Their hunger, DIY drive, skills, passion is very refreshing. More and more venues, platforms and festivals are growing too, this is a testament of what is coming.

James will join Zahed Sultan, Megan Quashie and Paris Pompor for a session that dives into the musical and cultural history and trends of the MENA region, celebrating the successes of strong women succeeding in such a male-dominated market and highlight the export opportunities in the region. Tickets available here.

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