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MDLBeast's XP Music Futures conference returns to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for its second edition from 28-30 November
By IQ on 03 Oct 2022
Exploring the future of music in the Middle East through the lens of innovation…
The world is seeing exciting change on all fronts and the music industry is no different. To mirror these developments and build on them, MDLBeast, a Saudi music entertainment company, launched the XP Music Futures conference in 2021, with a mission to become the key accelerator of music in the Middle East and, in turn, help increase the region’s GDP. Last year’s event was a huge success, attracting 4,700 attendees, 150 local, regional and international speakers, and industry experts representing 25 countries.
XP Music Futures has already managed to cement its position as one of the Middle East music industry’s most influential events. The conference returns to Saudi Arabia for a second edition this year, and is set to kickstart Riyadh’s loudest week, taking place 28-30 November ahead of the region’s biggest music festival, Soundstorm, which runs 1-3 December. Already much anticipated, XP Music Futures 2022 will showcase ongoing initiatives and lead conversations around the conditions and infrastructures needed for a thriving music ecosystem by assembling the world’s brightest minds to create an industry-leading blueprint for innovation, self-expression and commercial success for music.
At the heart of that will be focused on four key building blocks: Talent, Scene, Impact and Innovation. The pillars will be discussed in multiple session formats, including workshops, keynotes, panel discussions and fishbowl sessions. This feature looks ahead to XP Music Futures’ Innovation pillar, the newest addition to the conference’s discussion blocks and certainly one of its most exciting.
Dedicated to being an inclusive and representative platform for the region’s music industry, XP is working with a Board of Advocates and Advisors as one way to achieve such diversity. This board includes LA-based artist, musician and technologist Arabian Prince, who is obsessed with innovation, digital technology, and music production and who shared his thoughts around innovation in the Middle Eastern music scene ahead of this year’s event.
“You can create music from anywhere now and it allows the new generation of creators to be free to express themselves much quicker”
Arabian Prince, Kim Renard Nazel said: “The fact that everyone has a computer in their pocket in the form of a smartphone is amazing. You can create music from anywhere now and it allows the new generation of creators to be free to express themselves much quicker than back in the day when we needed big synths and sequencers as well as recording studios to create music.
“I will be at XP once again this year to help expand the thinking and possibilities of new ideas in music and innovation, bringing technics, workshops and creative ideas that will help the region flourish in the music industry. Music is the language of the world, the one thing we all have in common is our love for music. New technology can help with the learning curve and knowledge. I can’t wait to see what this journey will bring, I am excited.”
Nada Alhelabi is strategy director of MDLBeast and the programme director for XP Music Futures. She shared her excitement about bringing the subject of innovation to the fore at this year’s conference edition.
She said: “Developments in digital technologies have resulted in monumental changes in most aspects of the music industry. XP is aiming to be the forerunner in the country when it comes to innovation in music and creative industries; therefore, adding innovation as one of our main pillars this year was a no-brainer.”
“Amongst the many sessions we’ve got at this year’s XP Music Futures, we will discuss Immersive Technology, Web3, Metaverse and Digital Disruption”
Innovation has always played a huge role in building and shaping the music industry, not only in the region but also on a global scale. It has changed the way people create music & evolve in the music scene. As a fact digital distribution is now accessible for any artist without even having to be signed to any labels. Our innovation pillar was introduced so that our region can gain expert insights and advice from leading music stars, tech icons, startups, investors and industry-relevant leaders. As the world is evolving around innovations, so is XP Music Conference.
“Through the innovation pillar and technology, music creators have the opportunity to present their business ideas to professionals within their industry to get their advice, discuss potential challenges, suggestions for improvement and precise guidance on how to spark the attention of potential investors.”
Looking ahead to XP 2022, Alhelabi revealed a selection of the must-attend sessions that will lead on innovation this November.
“Amongst the many sessions we’ve got at this year’s XP Music Futures, we will discuss Immersive Technology, Web3, Metaverse and Digital Disruption,” said Alhelabi.
These will be presentations, panel discussions and AMAs. We have an Immersive Technology workshop which will be a destination offering virtual, mixed and augmented reality to showcase the transformation of the music industry as it enters a new dimension. Web3, the new iteration of blockchain technology, incorporating concepts such as cryptocurrency, DAOs and NFTs, will be addressed through panels, keynote and networking sessions. As for the Metaverse segment, activities like Fishbowl, Roundtable and Think Tank will focus on understanding the metaverse through the eyes of the pioneers in this field.
“Lastly, Digital Disruption sessions will be in the form of panel discussions, presentations and AMAs (ask me anything). They will showcase innovations that highlight the nuances of live concerts in gaming environments.”
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