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Sony Music Middle East signs Egyptian singer Hamaki



Singer Hamaki in studio
In 2010 Hamaki won Best Arabic Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards

Sony Music Middle East has announced an exclusive recording, licencing and distribution agreement with Egyptian popstar, producer and TV personality Hamaki.

This is the first time the Arabic pop star has signed to an international record label and will see the release of multiple singles and an album in 2021.

Further strengthening the company’s commitment to Arabic music and growth of the region, Sony Music also announced a multi-year, multi-artist production agreement with one of the world’s leading Arabic music producers, Hamdy Badr, and his Cairo-based production company, Craft Media. The partnership with Badr, will help grow and scale Egyptian Pop music through multiple projects with hit recording artists and developing talent over the coming years.

“We are delighted to welcome Hamaki and Craft Media to the Sony Music family,” said Shridhar Subramaniam, President, Strategy and Market Development Asia and Middle East, Sony Music. “Hamaki and Hamdy are superstars and trailblazers whose music resonates across the world. The Middle East is one of the fastest growing music markets in the world and this new partnership signals our continued commitment to Arabic music and artists across the region.”

Hamaki has forged an impressive career in the Arab world, amassing over a billion audio and video streams worldwide through a career of hits including “Rasmak fi khayali”, “Kol youm men da”, “Ya Sattar”, “Oddam El Nas”, “Mel Bedaya” and “Wahda Wahda”. Hamaki is also a producer and TV celebrity, enjoying success on stage and on screen. In 2010, he won Best Arabic Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards. In 2016, he was awarded Best Arabic Singer for the Murex D’or and Best Middle Eastern Artist at the Big Apple Music Awards. Hamaki also received widespread praise in 2019 as a coach in the fifth season of The Voice Arabia and The Voice Kids.

Founded by Hamdy BadrEgypt’s leading producer and artist manager, Craft Media has powered many of Egypt’s biggest super stars such as Hamaki, Maya Diab, Pousi and Mahmoud Al Lethy and has helped deliver numerous TV programs in the Middle East, including The Voice, Carpool and The Masked Singer shows.

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Marina Abramović guest curate series showcasing rising performance artists from around the world



Marina Abramovic on stage
WePresent will unveil a unique digital manifestation of ‘The Abramović Method’

WePresent, the editorial platform of WeTransfer, has revealed its exclusive collaboration with Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović, beginning with its inaugural Guest Curator Series. Abramović’s guest curatorship marks the first of a number of moments in a year-long collaboration, through which Abramović compels all to consider the importance of performance art, and its application to our everyday lives.

To launch WePresent’s Guest Curator Series, Marina Abramović will spotlight five rising performance artists from around the world: Ana Prvački, Maurício Ianês, Yiannis Pappas, Terence Koh and Regina José Galindo, who are proving that performance art is a constantly shifting and evolving artform, always moving in unique and thought-provoking directions.

Having worked with over 1000 artists from more than 100 countries, to date, this series begins a new chapter for WePresent by giving today’s leading visionaries a platform to showcase the artists of tomorrow and share with the world their favourite emerging talents.

This summer, following Abramović’s guest curatorship, WePresent will unveil a unique digital manifestation of ‘The Abramović Method’ on WeTransfer, available to everyone – all day, every day – reaching 70 million people worldwide. In September, the artist will share her ‘Time Capsule’, an everlasting body of references, ideas and objects, which will continue to inspire us and future generations, giving us a glimpse into her artistic universe.

About the partnership, Marina Abramović says:

“I’m delighted to be working with WeTransfer this year, beginning with suggesting 5 artists that I believe are taking performance art in unique directions, who will be featured on the WePresent platform for millions of people around the world to enjoy and understand their work – giving artists the chance to show and perform their art is crucial, especially now. And later in the year, WeTransfer will feature ‘The Abramović Method’, an exploration of being present in both time and space, in a year when reconnecting with ourselves has never been more important. I hope everyone participates and thank WeTransfer for giving me the opportunity to share my ‘Method’ with you all.”

“Since the pandemic took hold this time last year, the digital realm has been invaluable in preserving the arts for tomorrow. Our new Guest Curator Series continues WePresent’s digital patronage, as we ask established artists in their field to spotlight emerging talent. As a platform that has featured over 1000 creatives from 100 countries, we believe this is vital in a world where the arts need support following an unprecedented, challenging period, especially emerging artists around the world. Part of our collaboration with our inaugural Guest Curator, Marina Abramović, will involve bringing the ‘Abramović Method’ to people at home through an immersive online format. We hope that many will feel inspired by Abramović’s legacy and appreciate the power of technology and digital design in creating new art experiences.” – says Holly Fraser, Editor in Chief of WePresent.

Marina Abramović: Guest Curator Series is available here. 

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Apple TV+ announces programming partnership with Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai



Malala Yousafzai

Apple has unveiled a multiyear programming partnership with women’s rights activist and youngest Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai.

Building on Malala’s longstanding relationship with Apple, her original programming for Apple TV+ will span dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, and children’s series, and draw on her ability to inspire people around the world.

“I believe in the power of stories to bring families together, forge friendships, build movements, and inspire children to dream,” said Malala Yousafzai. “And I couldn’t ask for a better partner than Apple to help bring these stories to life. I’m grateful for the opportunity to support women, young people, writers, and artists in reflecting the world as they see it.”

Malala and her new production company Extracurricular join Apple’s burgeoning roster of creative visionaries, including Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Will Smith, Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon, Idris Elba, Martin Scorsese, Leonardo DiCaprio, Octavia Spencer, Kumail Nanjiani, Alfonso Cuarón, and more.

At age 16, Malala published her best-selling memoir, “I Am Malala.” She’s since written two more books, starred in a documentary about her early life, and created Assembly, a digital publication for girls and young women available on Apple News. Since launching in 2018, Assembly has published stories from young women in more than 100 countries and in over 20 languages.

Malala also founded Malala Fund to champion every girl’s right to 12 years of safe, free, quality education. In 2018, Apple became Malala Fund’s first Laureate partner, supporting the organization’s work with local advocates and teachers in eight countries where girls face significant education challenges. Apple also assists with technology, curriculum, and research into policy changes to support girls’ education. The partnership has since expanded, and in Brazil, Apple’s 10 Developer Academies have partnered with Malala Fund to advance girls’ education opportunities there and around the world.

Apple TV+ is home to award-winning Apple Originals from today’s most imaginative storytellers. Apple TV+ offers premium, compelling drama and comedy series, feature films, groundbreaking documentaries, and kids and family entertainment, and is available to watch across all your favorite screens. After its launch on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service. Apple Originals have been honored with 78 wins and 297 awards nominations in just over a year, including a Golden Globe Award, Critics Choice Awards, Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Daytime and Primetime Emmy Awards, an NAACP Image Award, a Peabody Award, and more.

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Laura Whitmore and Emmanuel Jal join Peace One Day line-up



TV presenter Laura Whitmore
British TV presenter Laura Whitmore

PRNewswire – Peace One Day in association with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights announce the Peace One Day Anti-Racism Live Global Digital Experience on 21st March 2021, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Internationally acclaimed artists, actors and speakers including Actor and Activist, Emmanuel Jal;  Singer Songwriter, Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, Popcaan; TV presenter Laura Whitmore; Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC and Paul Polman, Founder and Chair of Imagine, amongst others, will join the free-to-register digital experience to talk about diversity, inclusion, equality and justice.

Laurent Sauveur, Director of External Relations, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said:

“21 March is an opportunity for each of us to redouble our efforts in eliminating all forms of racial discrimination. We look forward to this global event with Peace One Day to help carry the message of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to the widest possible audience.”

Angela Cretu, CEO Avon International said: “At Avon we are open to all, we stand for all and actively promote diversity and inclusion in everything we do. We believe in celebrating diversity around the world and in having the curiosity and humility to go beyond the ideas of ‘us and them’. We’re proud to support Peace One Day and the Anti-Racism Live Global Digital Experience 2021. We invite our network of 5 million Representatives and their communities to join us in celebrating inclusion, tolerance and diversity.”

Hanneke Faber, Global President of Foods and Refreshment Division at Unilever said: “The Unilever team works hard to maintain and promote a culture of anti-racism, inclusion and diversity, both as an organisation and throughout our supply chain. We are delighted to continue our longstanding collaboration with Peace One Day and play our part in raising awareness and driving engagement on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.”

Readers can register to watch panel talks here.

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