XP Music Features Returns To Riyadh For Third Edition

Three days of musical-goodness

Building on its four pillars —talent, scene, impact, and innovation— the XP Music Features conference is set to make its hotly-anticipated return for its third edition. The three-day music conference organized by MDLBEAST is a catalyst for insightful conversations, ideas, and up-and-coming talents to shine through within the region and is taking place from Dec. 7 to 9 in Riyadh. 

This year’s edition will feature a series of workshops and mixers and bring international and regional talent together. Starting with its first pillar, talent, the conference is a tell-all for anyone interested in integrating themselves within the music industry by covering topics such as talent management, music production, and copyright societies via thought-provoking talks and interactive workshops. 

Secondly, the scene pillar will be exploring Saudi Arabia’s nightlife and cultural tourism, how to drive growth within the industry with new and improved music qualities, and highlighting the importance of policy-making in the music world. 

Meanwhile, the impact pillar aims to spark much-needed conversations about sustainability, the importance of well-being, social equity and data collection, and analytics. 

The final pillar, innovation, will explore the theme of how immersive technology can eventually enhance the music industry. 

What’s more, this year, the conference will be introducing the HUNNA initiative, a new addition to XP’s ongoing efforts to cultivate communities. HUNNA aims to create a safe space for women in the music industry to learn and develop skills, while collectively disrupting the outdated and inequitable music industry systems at large. The first part of the HUNNA program will see the pairing of rising female talent with experts within the field for a three-month mentorship program, starting in June. The second part is a get-together at this year’s XP Music features intending to shed light on changing the narratives around female representation within the industry– having the right kind of conversations. 


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Additionally, guests can look forward to the return of XPERFORM, a competition for vocalists that gives creatives in the region the chance to show their musical talents onstage at XP Music Futures, while also growing their career with the eponymous MDLBEAST Records. Sponsored by Youtube,  the initiative is aimed at discovering and nurturing emerging musical talent in the Middle East. The judges for this year’s concert are Liliana Abudalo, Head of YouTube Music Menal; Matthew Dicks, Executive Director Music & Talent at MDLBEAST;  Palestinian singer and songwriter Banah Anabtawi; Karima Damir, Director for A&R at Sony Music Entertainment; and Somali hip-hop artist, LilEazy. 

Another new addition to this year’s conference will be XP Presents, which focuses on highlighting and showcasing the culture of a specific region every year. This year, the spotlight is on South Korea and its thriving K-pop music scene, Korean dramas and films, and the country’s continuous innovations in the musical and cultural scene. 


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To expand its ethos, XP has organized group workshops around the region called XChange which range from panels, performances and an overall mixer for people in Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Amman, and Riyadh. Thus, giving the XP team more insight into each city’s musical landscape and scene. 

Speakers for this year’s conference will be announced shortly. 


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