Sony Music Entertainment (SME) Middle East has struck a new partnership with Kuwait-based creative studio, music, and video production company GHMZA Creative Studios to produce music and promote emerging Khaleeji pop artists in the Middle East.
GHMZA is a company that focuses on talent development and original media production. Its team has managed and produced content consumed by over 1.5 billion viewers and listeners, according to its website.
To mark the new partnership, 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 Middle East, according to a press release on Wednesday (October 19).
Bader Al Shuaibi has more than 1 billion audio and video streams and three million social media followers. On Spotify, he has 127,900 monthly listeners. He released his first single with SME Middle East called An Hob, which was accompanied by a music video, on the day of the
“The chance to join the team at Sony Music, to share my music and vision with more people around the world is a dream come true. I look forward to evolving as an artist, working with everyone’s support to put my sound and culture on the global map for my fans,” Bader Al Shuaibi said.
Bashar al-Shatti, a former Arab Idol judge best known for his songs Hal Bilhabib and Habib El Donya, is also set to drop his first single with Sony Music Middle East in November 2022.
“I am blessed to have enjoyed such a TV and film career to date, and I am looking forward to connecting more deeply with my fans through my music. I cannot wait to share my sounds and work with my team at Ghmza and Sony Music to take the genre to even greater heights,” Bashar al-Shatti said.
The deal marks Sony Music’s latest expansion in the MENA region after entering into an exclusive partnership with Egypt-based Craft Media in July to sign, produce and promote Arabic artists and music.
The MENA region has become one of the fastest-growing regions for music, with more than half, or 54% of people in the region listening to at least one Middle Eastern genre, according to IFPI’s Global Music Report 2022.
Vibe Music Arabia will “support the independent Arabic artist community” in Saudi Arabia, wider GCC and Levant, SME said at the time.
For SME and GHMZA, the new alliance will allow both companies to contribute to the growth of the industry and expand SME’s footprint across the MENA region, Sony Music said.
Mike Fairburn, General Manager, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East, described the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as a “dynamic hotbed for talent and music innovation”.
“Through this new partnership, we look forward to helping discover and develop exciting new Khaleeji pop talent and showcasing what the Middle East has to offer.”
Mike Fairburn, Sony Music Entertainment Middle East
“We passionately believe in always putting the artist first, providing them with the right tools and expertise needed to reach their fans. Through this new partnership, we look forward to helping discover and develop exciting new Khaleeji pop talent and showcasing what the Middle East has to offer,” Fairburn added.
Even before the deal was announced, GHMZA about a month ago hinted at the new partnership with SME in a LinkedIn post, saying: “We are happy to announce our partnership with Sony Music to produce music for our artists.”
“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.”
Thamer Al Thamer, GHMZA
Speaking about the SME alliance, GHMZA founder and CEO Thamer Al Thamer, on Wednesday, said: “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.”
Music Business Worldwide