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“Is It On”: the crossover between K-Pop and Khaleeji music

When Gulf music meets Korean pop, there’s plenty to keep your ears open. Freshly arrived on Spotify, the song “Is it on” by AleXa, in collaboration with Bader Al Shuaibi, transcends generations and borders for a result that is worth the detour!

The K-pop phenomenon is no longer really in the news. The Korean pop music, which actually gathers several musical genres in itself, arouses, especially among young people, an undeniable craze throughout the world. Characterized by very visual codes (choreographies, clothing style, clips, decorations,…), it is nowadays particularly prominent in the Middle East, where groups like BTS -the most famous of the genre- have organized concert events that have gathered several thousands of fans. 

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The first Middle East concert of the Korean K-pop group BTS has been announced

This is perhaps what motivated the American-Korean K-pop singer AleXa to embark on this collaborative project with the Emirati artist Bader Al Shuaibi. To tell the truth, that we will never know. What is certain is that the track, which mixes Khaleeji and K-pop influences, is already available for listening on the streaming platform Spotify, which has made it available as part of its initiative to bring out promising artists from the region: Radar MENA. This is Radar Mena’s first collaboration with a K-pop group, continuing its mission to pair regional artists with international names 

A strategic choice 

K-Pop is doing surprisingly well around the world, but especially in the Gulf, where we see K-Pop releases regularly topping the charts” says Wissam Khodur, head of artist and label partnerships at Spotify Mena. A wise choice judging by the statistics posted by the track, which already has nearly 100,000 listens

Other tracks released as part of this project include last month’s remix of Hadal Ahbek, the viral hit by Jordanian singer Issam Alnajjar, with Canadians Ali Gates and Loud Luxury, or Save Me, released in 2020, a collaboration between Dubai-based British electronic music duo Hollaphonic and Lebanese soul singer Xriss Jor. On your airpods! 

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Middle East: Spotify launches platform to promote female artists

Published on 25 May 2021