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RIYADH: Music, talent, and speed are set to unite as the STC Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix announces a collaboration with XP Music Futures for this year’s XPERFORM contest.

The three-year partnership will provide contestants with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take to the world stage with a live performance at the upcoming F1 race weekend in Jeddah, in March 2024.

This year’s auditions for XPERFORM, held live at the Music Hub in Riyadh, have set a new standard for music competitions in the Middle East and North Africa region. The event showcased an incredible array of talent and represented musical genres from across the spectrum, culminating in a true celebration of the rich musical and cultural tapestry seen throughout the region.

A distinguished panel of judges, including Moe Hamzeh, Karima Damir, Banah Anabtawi, Lil Eazy, and Liliana Abudalo, provided valuable feedback and constructive critiques, lifting performers to unforeseen heights before ultimately narrowing the field of contestants down to 12 people.

XPERFORM is among a range of initiatives by XP Music Futures to pull back the curtain and bolster the emerging talent of tomorrow. The conference is also unveiling HUNNA (the Arabic plural of “she”), a one-on-one mentorship program for women, by women. Set to cover everything from music management and artistry to the nuances of production and the music business itself, this year sees an XP Music Futures that is set on giving the next generation of talent the tools they need to succeed.

Martin Whitaker, CEO of the Saudi Motorsport Co., the promoter of the Saudi Grand Prix, said: “We are honored to be partnering with XP Music Futures on this very exciting initiative to source and promote some of the finest young talents in the region.”

He added: “The XPERFORM mission to uncover the region’s emerging vocal talent aligns perfectly with our own commitment to using the power of F1 to motivate our youth to follow their dreams. Our previous three F1 race weekends have shown how racing and live music dovetail into a beautiful package of adrenaline-fueled action and entertainment, serving to inspire the people of the Kingdom to achieve their full potential.

“We look forward to partnering and supporting XP Music Futures on this journey and are excited to welcome the successful entrants on stage next March during the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix 2024.”

Ramadan Alharatani, CEO at MDLBEAST and XP Music Futures, said: “At MDLBEAST — and through XP Music Futures — we’re dedicated to creating opportunities for artists as we continue to accelerate the development of the music scene in our region. We’re proud to unveil this powerful initiative with the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix to provide another stage for incredibly talented artists.

“We’d like to thank the (Saudi Grand Prix) for supporting our mission in uncovering the unseen to the rest of the world, and for joining forces to inspire future generations as we lay the groundwork for establishing a thriving music ecosystem in the MENA region.”

This year’s XP Music Futures is set to take place in Riyadh from Dec. 7-9. Tickets for the 3-day event are available via the XP Music Futures’ official website.

Earlier this year XPERFORM announced its collaboration with YouTube to support Saudi Arabia’s music industry. As part of the collaboration, YouTube ran a bootcamp to help artists reach a wider audience using YouTube’s multiple formats.

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