Spotify puts Arab culture on global display
Amr Diab takes over Spotify billboard in Times Square
The iconic superstar becomes the first artist to sing in Arabic to land this prominent featuring
Spotify continues to show its commitment to the Middle East and North Africa region, this time by proudly projecting an image of Egyptian singer and MENA superstar Amr Diab on a Spotify billboard today, stealing the spotlight in New York City’s Times Square, one of the most iconic neighborhoods and sights in the Big Apple.
In a bid to reach the millions of lovers of Arab music living outside the MENA region, Spotify launched last year with a globally accessible Arab hub as part of their Global Cultures initiative, which is instrumental in connecting the music and culture of the Middle East and North Africa, with listeners everywhere. With Spotify’s global and local editorial team’s collaboration, Diab’s songs were included on various international and regional playlists, where his music continues to spread around the globe. Diab’s appearance on a Times Square billboard demonstrates Spotify’s dedication to putting MENA talents on the world stage and marks the first time an artist, singing in Arabic, has been featured on this international landmark.
Commenting on the brand’s commitment to supporting regional talent and Arab music, Claudius Boller, Managing Director, Spotify Middle East and Africa, said, “Bringing the world to artists and artists to the world is a fundamental part of what Spotify is about. Experiencing Amr Diab’s devotion to Arabic music for nearly four decades straight and witnessing his fanbase expand across the world is beyond incredible. Today we are celebrating Diab’s legacy and we are proud to see him shine so brightly – literally – on the global stage.”
Whilst Diab’s MENA based fans have proudly followed his decades-long career, he is no stranger to the United States. The legendary artist has been busy projecting his steamy Mediterranean grooves across the world and has a massive listening base in the USA, which became the number one country streaming his music on Spotify, followed by Sweden and Germany.
“Music is a language that speaks emotions and not only words. I am blessed to have touched people around the world with my music,” Amr Diab tells Spotify. “Spotify has allowed so many artists to connect with fans beyond borders and I am glad for that.” Diab’s global appeal can also be witnessed in Spotify’s latest marketing campaign, which features a series of fun videos set in different places around the world where non-Arabs are attempting to sing along to the icon’s latest and greatest tunes.
“What Amr Diab was doing, from the beginning, really, was look to the Mediterranean for his sound,” explains Saeed Saeed, a prominent music and culture commentator. “He took Arabic pop music into a new direction, so for that he’s deeply important,” Saeed says.
A 2013 tour celebrating Diab’s glorious career saw him playing sold-out concerts as far off as Australia, Romania, and Greece. He was even recognized by Guinness World Records in 2016 for the record-breaking number of trophies he has taken home in the annual World Music Awards.