Music producer Quincy Jones, famous for producing Michael Jackson’s hugely-successful album Thriller, has teamed up with UAE based entrepreneur Badr Jafar to launch Dubai Music Week (DMW).
The event will consist of an industry tradeshow followed by two music festivals.
Jafar, also the president of Crescent Petroleum, set up the Los Angeles-based Global Gumbo Group (G3) with Jones in 2011 to promote opportunities for Western and Middle Eastern artists in the MENA region.
G3 will host the music week at Dubai’s World Trade Center (DWTC), the event will be open to the public.
DMW will aim to bring together major music labels, artists and merchants to display their products and launch initiatives. The project will see daily conferences, networking events, workshops and live performances take place.
It will be the region’s first music industry trade show and also offers Dubai Rocks and Dubai Classics, two large scale festivals which will feature an assorted mix of performers from international to regional artists.
Arabian Business reported that Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of DWTC said that “The emirate has a well-established network of radio, television and digital media outlets that serve the region, and this new venture with Quincy Jones’ and Badr Jafar’s G3 reflects Dubai’s commitment to developing the media industry and boosting cultural tourism.”
Both Jones and Jafar said in a joint statement that “I strongly believe in the social powers of arts and entertainment, and so am constantly looking to see how best to use these spheres to create positive social impact.”
“We both believe this collaboration with DWTC will provide a cultural exchange between our region and the rest of the world, using music’s amazing power to foster a better understanding and an appreciation for our common values." They added.
Learning to Gangam style
Jones is also looking for a singer or musician from the Arab World with the ability to promote the region globally. The main aim is to find an artist who is able to build a fan base in other parts of the world, similar to Korean Pop YouTube sensation Psy and his hit song Gangnam Style.
Entrants will be encouraged to submit music videos online and the winner will be chosen by Jones.
The National recently reported Jafar as saying “sometimes people say: Most people here only speak Arabic, so how are we going to cross over?”
He went on to say "Now I use Psy as a perfect example. I say: 'Don't give me any excuse, he got over a billion YouTube hits.”
"It's catchy, it's in Korean, it’s fun, and the guy has put Korea on the map. For people who used to only think about the Korean War when they thought about Korea, all they can think about now is Gangnam Style.”
“There's no reason we can't have crossover artists. We want to find someone like Psy from the Arab world, although they wouldn't have to dance the same way.”
There are no confirmed dates for the Dubai Music Festival however it is expected to be held in the first quarter of 2013.