WASLA announces global comeback as the Arab alternative music and arts festival debuts in London this September

Today WASLA announces its global comeback as the Arab alternative music & arts festival debuts in London this September after several successful editions in the Middle East. Taking place at London’s Outernet on September 3 & 4 2024, WASLA will bring a two-day event packed with celebrations of Arab music, art, food, and culture to the UK capital.

With a diverse line-up of the Arab world’s best up-and-coming performers and artists, this year’s festival live performances will come from Marwan Pablo, TootArd, Freek, DJ Habibeats, El Waili, Areej, Gharam Electric, and Rasha Nahas with both days including DJ sets from Maher and Mike Daniel, the Palestinian-Canadian siblings who will take turns on the decks to set the energy! Live performances will take place across Outernet’s venues, HERE and The Lower Third.

Tickets for WASLA will go presale from Wednesday 26th June at 10am local time with a general sale following Friday 28th June at 10am local time via LiveNation.co.uk.

This year’s festival will mark a global stamp for WASLA as the first Arab alternative music and arts festival to travel worldwide. Owned and produced by Brag, in partnership with Live Nation, WASLA aims to take the UAE-born idea and spread its message across the world.

A celebration of the other side of Arab culture, WASLA is the meeting point of the region’s varied identities, redefining perceptions, breaking stereotypes, and building a community for everyone to feel welcome and recognized through music, art, food, and culture. With London being a melting pot of Arab nationalities, it makes the city the perfect destination for WASLA’s first stop outside of the Arab region!

Tuesday 3 September                 HERE at Outernet (London)                     London, United Kingdom
Tuesday 3 September                 The Lower Third, London                          London, United Kingdom
Wednesday 4 September          HERE at Outernet (London)                     London, United Kingdom
Wednesday 4 September          The Lower Third, London                          London, United Kingdom
This year’s line up consists of:

Marwan Pablo
Marwan Pablo is a leading Egyptian rapper from Alexandria, recognized for popularizing
trap music in Egypt. Starting his career in 2015, he released notable tracks like
“Sindbad,” “El Gemeza,” and “Ghaba.” Marwan Pablo’s music is known for blending
Egyptian cultural elements with modern trap and hip-hop beats. His tracks feature heavy
beats, melodic hooks, and introspective lyrics, often addressing personal and societal
themes. His distinctive style makes him a key figure in the Middle Eastern rap scene​.

DJ Habibeats
Originally Palestinian, DJ Habibeats is an LA-based DJ/Producer who incorporates Arabic
beats into his club performances. He has been DJing for over 12 years, holding
residencies at nightclubs across San Francisco and Los Angeles. Habibeats has accrued
over 1 million followers across TikTok and Instagram for his DJ content, innovative
mashups, and music sample series.

Freek is a UAE-based, Somali rapper, singer, music director, and record producer. He is
noted as one of the contributors to the Arab drill rap music scene. His career as a
musician began in 2014, when he featured on Alonzo’s track, ‘Batali’, released in 2014
and he released the track ‘Aslan 3adi’ as his first single in 2015. In 2019, his track ‘Wala
Wilma’ went viral after being used in an Adidas commercial featuring Egyptian football
star, Mohamed Salah.

TootArd, a genre-fluid duo comprised of visionary brothers Hasan and Rami Nakhleh, is
celebrated for their boundless creativity, consistently reshaping their musical landscape
with each new release. TootArd effortlessly melds retro funk elements with a
contemporary, high-sheen sonic palette, resulting in a captivating and boundary-pushing
musical journey. Their music transcends geographical borders, captivating audiences
worldwide and solidifying their status as a dynamic force in the global music scene.

El Waili
Egyptian music producer from Sohag, Upper Egypt, El Waili began his career
experimenting with electronic sounds and quickly developed his own style. In 2020, he
launched his El Waili project with tracks like “2010” and “El Abd Wa El Waili,” making a
significant impact in the electro-chaabi and EDM scenes. Known for blending traditional
Egyptian music with contemporary electronic elements, El Waili has carved out a unique
niche in the music industry.

Hailing from West London, with a Moroccan and Sudanese background, Areej is a talented musician known for her soft tones and sultry sounds that take lead from a strong global music influence. Her distinctive sultry, urban-led jazz tone is influenced by a melting pot of worldwide music, in particular Arabic music, and her music draws from a diverse range of influences and personal life experiences. Areej steps forth into 2024 with an intoxicating, unexpected eerie, yet refreshing sound, described as Sade meets Portishead.

Gharam Electric
Gharam Electric, founded by Wassim Bou Malham, is a project out of Beirut, Lebanon, that started with the vision of offering a new take on Arabic music that does not resort to exoticism or folkloric aesthetics typically associated with the region, but rather one that is simply sexy, fun, and approachable to a veritable cross-section of tastes. Wassim is a staple of the Lebanese music and culture scene, having been an active and prominent musician, vocalist, curator, and inside man to the fabric of Beiruts nightlife for the last decade.

Rasha Nahas
Rasha Nahas is a Palestinian singer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist known for her
unique blend of rock, theatricality, and poetic storytelling. Based in Berlin, she gained
recognition with her debut album “Desert” (2021) and her Arabic-language follow-up
“Amrat” (2023). Nahas’s music explores themes of nostalgia and personal journey, with
performances celebrated across Europe​.

Maher Daniel
Palestinian-Canadian DJ Maher Daniel is no stranger to the international dance circuit. Starting his early years as a resident at the infamous Stereo Montreal, his growth rapidly took off with a slew of heavy releases which set him up as a well-respected artist in the industry. After moving to Barcelona, Maher was able to continue his growth, with the launch of his record label The Other Side, allowing him to build his repertoire even more. The output created allowed him to work with some of the most prolific artists in the minimal house circuit, eventually leading him to work with the likes of (a:rpia:r) sound system Ricardo Villalobos to name a few.

Mike Daniel
Mike Daniel, a seasoned DJ, began his journey into the world of music at the young age of 16. Growing up in Montreal, he was captivated by the vibrant club scene and the pulsating energy of electronic music. His early influences include iconic electronic acts like Depeche Mode and the 80s new wave, which laid the foundation for his deep appreciation and understanding of music.

Mike is a true musical chameleon, effortlessly navigating through a myriad of musical styles and environments. Whether he’s sifting through physical crates or exploring digital libraries, he’s always on the prowl for that rare gem that will set dancefloors ablaze. His sets, a testament to his dedication to unearthing hidden treasures, are a rich tapestry of variety and innovation, ensuring each performance is a memorable one.

Wasla is a platform designed to help raise the profile of Arabic musical talent. Through a series of events and experiences, the music community will gain access to well-established and emerging regional artists. For musicians, WASLA offers the opportunity to perform on stages that will attract both local and regional audiences and hopefully help them on their road to discovery.

Written by Theatrefullstop