Underground Music in the Middle East


The underground music scene is a reflection of the culture and people in any given community. Music is a universal language, and the way artists choose to express themselves can be an indicator of what’s happening underneath the surface in any society. Underground music scenes are usually associated with counterculture and subcultures, such as punk music or heavy metal. However, these genres are not exclusive to the underground, as they have become increasingly popular over recent years. All genres can be a part of the underground scene, especially techno and electronic music taking hold as of late. The underground music scene in the Middle East has completely different characteristics due to its unique circumstances.

Read on to dive into the Middle East’s underground music culture and some of its most prominent events and artists.

The History Of Underground Music In The Middle East

The concept of underground music developed with the rise of the counterculture when a group of artists started to defy the mainstream music production paradigm by producing music that didn’t abide by the industry’s rules.

In the Middle East, many underground music artists had to perform during illegal raves until countries in the region began decriminalising the practice, the recent being Saudi Arabia in 2016, which saw the scene thrive. There are now many events showcasing music in the Middle East, with local, regional and international artists attending and performing.

Top Underground Venues

There are many underground venues in the Middle East, but here are a few that should be on your radar when you’re looking to experience music in the Middle East.

  • Analog Room: Dubai
  • The Music Space: Jeddah
  • Ballroom Blitz: Beirut
  • Cairo Jazz Club: Cairo
  • MiniMüzikhol: Istanbul

Finding The Best Events

When visiting any city in the Middle East, it’s important to research the music scene. There are many underground events in the region, but it can be challenging to find the best ones. Many online communities and forums host discussions about the Middle Eastern music scene and upcoming events. These are great places to start if you’re looking for events to attend.

When looking for the right music in the Middle East to suit your tastes, you can always find some of the best events on the MDLBEAST website. MDLBEAST has a long history with the underground music scene in Saudi Arabia and has hosted many events each year now that the scene has gone public.

Rising Stars In The Middle East Music Scene

With the underground music culture in the Middle East continuing to thrive, many artists have become famous in the region. Here are a few of the most notable Middle Eastern artists (from producers to singers and everything in between):

  • Sama
  • Agha
  • Natacha Atlas
  • Fulltone
  • Niyaz
  • Ahmad Almalki
  • Bluepaper
  • Adam Rahman

Wrapping Up

The underground music scene in the Middle East has surged in popularity in recent years since many regions have lifted bans prohibiting music and events. As such, artists in the region now have a bigger platform to express and showcase their talent to the rest of the world. Underground music in the Middle East is thriving, and it will be interesting to see what artists come out of the region in the future.

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