David Guetta describes Saudi Arabia’s evolving music scene as ‘witnessing history’

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World-renowned DJ and music producer David Guetta said he felt like he was witnessing history after several visits to Saudi Arabia to perform and conduct workshops.

“When I come here, I feel like I’m witnessing history and emotion,” the French DJ told Al Arabiya English at the MDL Beast Soundstorm music festival.

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The 55-year-old artist, who reportedly resides in Dubai, is a regular in the Kingdom, where he holds workshops and performs at different events. These include the Saudi Games, previous MDL Beast events, and even the inaugural F1 in Jeddah.

Saudi Arabia began a liberalization drive after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched an ambitious reform plan called Vision 2030.

Guetta was among the first artists to be invited to play when the country started to allow music festivals and other entertainment avenues.

“It’s not only playing music; it’s about playing music for people that haven’t been able to dance for years,” said the Grammy-award-winning artist on the sidelines of the MDL Beast Soundstorm music festival in Riyadh on Friday.

Guetta said that a lot of his music has Arabic influences and that his tunes take inspiration from the places where he performs.

While promoting the recently-launched Future Rave record label with dance music’s MORTEN at the Riyadh event, Guetta called for more new music using unique instruments from different regions, including the Gulf.

David Guetta and Morten addressing the media at a press conference in Riyadh. (Ayush Narayanan, Al Arabiya English)
David Guetta and Morten addressing the media at a press conference in Riyadh. (Ayush Narayanan, Al Arabiya English)

Reflecting Guetta’s comments, local talent Cosmicat said, “We’ve had a thriving underground music community in Saudi for so long.”

Cosmicat added that locals could now pursue their dreams in Saudi, “grow our talent through industry events and connect with the wider regional music scene and professionals.

For his part, Saudi DJ Vinyl Mode said: “I never thought we could make it this far!”

He said it was only a dream to perform in Saudi Arabia previously. “Now, we’re bringing this home. This is what MDLBEAST is about – an authentic movement grown from the local underground scene,” he said in a statement shared with Al Arabiya English.

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