A Star is Born: Exclusive Interview with Sumaya Rida

Photography: Gya Zoghbi

The Saudi Film industry has seen catapulting success worldwide with stories that highlight local narratives and shed light on the talent in the country.


One such star shimmering in the universe is Saudi actress Sumaya Rida. She, with her versatility, has been able to don many hats portraying memorable characters in genres ranging from horror to thriller and more, appearing both in tv and film.

I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one interview with Sumaya, diving deep into what inspires her while looking at how these recollections ultimately prompted her to pursue her true passion… Acting.

So what inspires Sumaya when she settles into and takes the persona of her character?

She shares, “My primary inspiration is humanity. I want to reflect on humanity and what makes us human, and I think at some point each needs to discover who they are and we need to overcome all limitations we placed on our humanity,” adding “I want to tell our stories to the world. I want to feel, I want to emote, I want to risk and share. This is what got me into this; it is a form of art.”

Upon being asked about seeing the art in the nuisance of acting, she states, “When you see any art, like when you see a painter, you can say this is his painting, his piece and his view of the world the same applies to actors and their vision.”

Sumaya first embarked on her cinematic journey at the young age of 12. However, she says that she didn’t plan for it, adding that her father had a Sony camera, and she used to take it and make movies with her family.

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Photography: Gya Zoghbi

“I was lucky because my dad used to lend it to me (the sony camcorder). I used to record family members, and I started to make scenarios and stories. I had my sister and brother acting in them, and I sometimes acted by placing the camera somewhere. We used to make short movies; it used to take us a couple of days to make. Then, at the end of the project, the family would sit and watch the short movie that we made.”

Adding that “I used to act in the school theatre, in Saudi where we acted in plays meant to raise awareness,” explaining, “I moved to London to finish my high school. This was the cultural shift for me; it was when I was most exposed to the world. I studied business.”

Pausing while having the biggest smile on her face, Sumaya says, “What’s funny is that we used to shoot advertisements for the university as a part of our assignments; we studied marketing. “The faculty of arts and performing art was next to the faculty of management, so I used to see actors coming and going all the time, every single day. I never imagined that I would one day do this, and I think when it’s destined to happen and you see signs from a very early time. It’s up to you whether you take the initiative or not.”

She continues, “What I think determines your fate is you see signs everywhere. It’s up to you whether you do something about it or not.”

After returning to Saudi, she met director Ali Alsumayin in what she says was a mere coincidence; it was like fate Sumaya gleefully admitted. “ I was in his office, and I saw him and his team preparing for a show, and I wanted to be part of it. I took the initiative and asked him. I was like, I want to be part of this. He was like, ‘okay, record an audition for me.’”

At that time, Sumaya didn’t know what auditioning was, only having an academic background up till this moment. However, it only made her more determined, “I wanted to do everything in the right way, scientifically. So I did the audition and the research, I got the role, and then I went abroad, I took private lessons, classes, and short courses, and this is how I started.”

So, how does Sumaya prepare herself for her characters mentally?…“I think every person has a little world inside of them. I study my characters very well. If I don’t have what it takes or haven’t experienced certain things, I go and do my research, try to get into the character’s shoes, and meet real people.”

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Photography: Gya Zoghbi

“For me, solitude is key. I have to spend some time alone because I think art is born in solitude. Every artist has to take time alone and away just to get into the mood; once I do that, I land on the character. I do the same to get out of character.

Sumaya has also seen Saudi Cinema evolve, “I see a tremendous change. When I started back in 2017, there were not a lot of Saudi projects. We only had big projects for tv channels, but now I see more independent producers making movies. I see a new wave of young artists and filmmakers coming and leaving their mark on the history of filmmaking, which makes me very happy. I want to see more, it’s an inspiring time, and we have everything we need. We have the support of our beloved government; we have more tools and investors.” 

Sumaya’s latest project is a psychological thriller about Muslim woman’s strong independence and the oversharing of personal life on social media. “It is about a woman who overcomes her life challenges in a very unexpected way. One of the movie’s main messages is to emote the strong independent Muslim Saudi woman.”

When asked about genres she would love to try, Sumaya stated that she looks forward to taking part in Sci-fi, thriller, and crime genres; “Acting is not easy at all; you have to dedicate your work life as well as your personal life. So I would love to act in sci-fi projects, something that is outside the box.” 

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Cosmicat Runs the World – A Spotify SAWTIK Playlist Collaboration

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As the great Queen Bey once said, “Who runs the world? Girls.” If anyone exemplifies this statement to the T, it has to be DJ extraordinaire Nouf Sufyani, better known as Cosmicat, naming herself after her love for cosmology and cats.  


Cosmicat has been taking the music scene in the country by storm, having played her sets at the best events in the country. Through her work, she showcases the evolving rhythms of the nation; the crescendo of her music echoes near and far, gaining her local and international acclaim.

She is one of the latest to be a part of the SAWTIK, Spotify’s inaugural women-in-music initiative for the region. SAWTIK means “your voice” in Arabic.

With this initiative, Spotify is hoping to amplify the voices of female artists in the region. Through this playlist, Spotify hopes to make it easier for labels and fans to uncover these talented stars.

Cosmicat’s latest track, “Toxic Romance,” is a part of this playlist. When asked about the inspiration  behind the track, she revealed how it encapsulates her passion for her craft and relationship with Music:

img_1147-copy“Toxic Romance is something I’ve been working on during 2020. It translates a lot of emotions that I  have for the music itself and my love and my relationship with electronic music to the point it became  an actual toxic romance, you know when you can’t sleep, you can’t eat, you can’t go out, you can’t see  anyone because you are in the studio working 24/7, so it’s consuming and also very very rewarding, and  that’s what it’s about.”  

As one of the most impactful female DJ’s in the country, she has been part of the game for so long that she has seen it evolve to what it is today, stating, “One of the things that we notice recently is that local artists have been given more opportunities and platforms than before… This makes me happy and proud. We have evolved from playing in underground events inside our close circles to now playing up  and out for the world to watch.” 

She feels incredibly proud when she sees other women come up in the scene. “It makes me happy and  proud, and I consider this as physical proof of change, the change of everyone’s mentality being more  open to pursuing new fields, new types of art, and women going out there and being fearless and doing  whatever they want, makes me super grateful to be alive at this time.”  

Cosmicat finds inspiration all around her “I find my inspiration when I look at successful women,  successful artists, who are doing what I’m doing for years, and I look up to them as role models to guide  me.”  

Expressing gratitude and glee for being asked to be part of SAWTIK, she ecstatically shares, “I gain inspiration by listening to different women from different places all over the Arab world and seeing how every one of them make music in their style and personality is so empowering. I wish for the future to  hold more and more female musicians who can do the same, and honestly, I am honored to have been a  part of this.” 

“Spotify has always been a part of my life,” she states, adding, “Spotify itself has been a very, very helpful inspiration generator for me because it is so easy to find a lot of related content, helping me find new music. Artists are always looking for more opportunities to connect with new listeners, and Spotify can make that happen.” She also mentioned that “Having applications as such, that you can just carry in your pocket and lets you take your entire library has been an effective tool to be more reachable for everyone since it is one of the most popular apps out there, so anyone can just look at you up and find everything. It’s just quick and easy, straight to the point.”

Upon being asked to give a word of advice to the potential future musicians and creators of the world,  she said, “Be fearless and prioritize yourself, your taste instead of worrying about how people would perceive you and yeah man, pursuing things naturally in the way you are comfortable with is just the best thing to do. “

DJ Cosmicat Favourites

We asked Cosmicat to recommend her favorite Dj’s this is what she had to say

Number one is Desert Fish, ” he is one of the people who helped me out throughout my career and he is such an amazing, and genius producer …. I cannot stress enough how genius he is.”

The second is Vinyl Mode, “he’s one of those who helped encourage me to get on the scene and got me my first radio gig in Saudi Arabia. He is a brilliant DJ and producer. He’s a real vibe generator and I love  and respect him.”

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Emerging Artists that are Shaping the New Decade

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On the road to becoming aces, these emerging creatives are climbing their way up the ladder. Pushing forward their ideas and innovative art styles, these artists are shaping the future of the Saudi art scene.


exlkv3nwsaehyijBayan Yasien

We can best describe Bayan Yasien’s art style as similar to illustrations in children’s books; her art is a mixture of portraits, anime, and cartoons. She began her journey when she was just six, and through her art, she aims to express her emotions. Being influenced by her culture and society, she often inserts small details into her art that emulate today’s views and events, leaving a distinctive imprint of her unique style onto the world.

Instagram: unique.beno

PrintNoha Abdul Raheem

Noha Abdul Raheem has been in love with Arabic calligraphy since a very young age. She was inspired by artist Haji Noor Deen’s work leading her to research more about Kanji Calligraphy. She believes that mixing Arabic with another language will show how beautiful and flexible the language is. She wishes to encourage people to try mixing Arabic with different languages if possible.

Instagram: noha_raheem

layla-falls-asleepSara Al Abdali

Sara Al Abdali received her Master’s in traditional crafts and Islamic art in 2014. Although she loves working solemnly in her studio, she often dreads exhibiting her art and stepping outside her studio’s comfort. She uses her unique style of art as a motif of storytelling where she narrates tales of identity, belonging, and spirituality. With her art, she aims to communicate things and thoughts that can’t be delivered in any other medium.

Instagram:  sarahalabdaliart

profileDoa Bugis

Although Doa Bugis’s unofficial inauguration into the world of painting was in 2018, she began her artistic journey when she was just a child sketching flowers from her garden.Her style is Islamic art and heavily influenced the different Miniature painting techniques, specifically Safavid, Qajar, and Mughal styles. She loves being an artist as the process is therapeutic, and it gives her the ability to tell stories that translate her emotions into visual manifestations.

Instagram:  doabugis

20201124_145252-01Yousef Yahya

Yousef Yahya began learning calligraphy in 2013 with the Square Kufic style related to his architectural work. He derives his inspiration from his Islamic, Arabic heritage along with contemporary art. He finds verses from the Quran artistic and inspiring and finds Arabic poetry very profound and meaningful sentiments that he emotes into his artwork. In the future, he aims to work on his skills through academic study while also participating in the Saudi Vision 2030 through his art and calligraphy through different mediums.

Instagram:  ucfyahya

%d9%a2%d9%a0%d9%a2%d9%a1%d9%a0%d9%a1%d9%a1%d9%a6_%d9%a2%d9%a3%d9%a5%d9%a8%d9%a4%d9%a3Hatem Al Ahmad

Hatem Al Ahmed focuses on visual art, a cross between painting, printmaking, and installation projects. He aims to understand how humanity thinks about life and how that can be interpreted into different stories, mainly because art is all around us. His art style projects the raw material and feeling of understanding where humanity is heading, especially when the future in some aspects seems grim. It’s his goal to touch humanity with ideas that cannot be rated.

Instagram:  hatem_al_ahmad

special-friendahip4Riyadh Waleed

Riyadh Waleed is a talented 2D animator that creates most of his art by hand. He was passionate about drawing from a very young age and developed his style at 15. In his art, he tries to create relatability by conveying ideas, stories, emotions that his audience can resonate with in the future; he aims to make movies to reach people and inspire them.

Instagram: riy_art

1d97c7f1-2932-4790-adff-be49e6fc1306Zeinab Al Mahoozi

Zeinab finds interest in what happens around us in our everyday lives; when she sees the street or even the cleaners on the road, she thinks about their journey and how they had to leave their families to come and work in this foreign land. She believes that a world without art is like life without meaning. She is a stencil graffiti artist who has displayed her artwork worldwide and works with many layers in her print, in the kingdom, art, and especially street art. Things are starting to change, especially with the improving art scene due to the various grants. She believes this is needed for the younger generation to continue their interest in art.

Instagram: z_mahoozi

dsc_4582Motaz Kattan

When Moatz moved to the United States, he intended to study photography. Still, his elective of ceramics enticed him the most due to his photography professor, who was also a ceramicist. Using the pottery wheel for the first time sparked a passion that became permanent. One of the many reasons he was drawn to this art form was turning raw clay into ceramics which feels like magic to him when something that seems normal suddenly becomes so functional. He aims to popularize pottery by sharing the knowledge he has and would one day want to open a local establishment, like a Saudi Factory or School, using locally sourced material and talents.

Instagram:  mtz.ceramics

dsc_0818Alaa Alaqeel

Alaa started her journey of spirituality in 2012, where she discovered her sense of self, inner peace and the gift of healing through art. She began conducting art healing workshops in 2018, where she would lead participants by healing their inner child, discovering their current self, and achieving their future self. Her art resonates with the mind, spirit, and body and, through this, she finds inner peace.

Instagram:  alaaoq

%d8%b5%d9%88%d8%b1%d8%a98Hmoud Al Attawi

Hmoud Al Attawi works as an art instructor who constantly teaches and directs his creative activity. Al Attawi is intrigued by the translation of narration between traditional and modern media, through which he traces social, cultural, and personal memory. He continues his anthropological investigation into culture, region, and nation and the blending of new realities. His art and philosophy thrive on posing questions about human behavior and space in various contexts and interests.

Instagram:  hmoudalattawi

Art on!

Here is where you can get the perfect art supplies to start your art journey.

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Aces of Arts

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Artists in the kingdom have revolutionized the art scene with creative and innovative ideas. These artists are true aces bringing recognition to the local potential  while also winning global and national accolades.


img_2652Nasser Almulhim

Nasser Almulhim was born in Riyadh in 1988 and is a studio artist. Nasser has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of West Florida. Since graduating, Nasser has been creating work representing his imagination from within, which he applies to two-dimensional imagery. Using various methods to create the artwork that he refers to as “the gate to self-healing.” One of the central themes in his work is the power of spirituality and how colors represent healing methods to express one’s inner emotional chaos. He will be displaying his work titled Gazing into the magical universe  at the upcoming 21’39 Jeddah Art organized by the Saudi Art Council.

Instagram: nasajm

img_1532Alia Ahmed

Alia Ahmad focuses on drawing, but she employs various mediums to tell narratives about how memory, location, and landscape converge in written and visual notions. Aspects from her childhood inspired her color palette, like the industrial and desert landscape. The vast majority of her works depict serene dreamscapes with linear representations of the Saudi landscape. She has showcased her work in various exhibitions in London, and in 2021 will be displaying her work in Saudi Art Councils 21’39.

Instagram: alia.ahmd_

rumi3Lulwah Al Homoud – National Cultural Awards Winner

Lulwah Al Homoud is an award-winning artist who has a Master’s degree from Central Saint Martins in London. Her works are a part of international collections in London, Munich, South Korea, Amsterdam, and Los Angeles. At the 2021 Noor Riyadh light festival, she displayed her beautiful creation titled The Infinite blue, where her mystic blue-colored artwork changed its hue depending on rays of the sun, showing that the earth is turning around to face the sun again.

Instagram: lulwah_al_homoud

earthseed-installation-view-1Ayman Zedani

Through his art,  Ayman Zedani conceptually aims to understand the relationships between two contrasting elements: organic and inorganic, land and water, and more. He is a multifaceted artist who has displayed his art globally, notably in Buenos Aires, Washington, and Sharjah, to name a few. His latest work was a multi-channel video installation titled Earthseed at the 2021 Noor Riyadh festival, which gained national recognition for its innovative portrayal of the relationship between humans and nonhumans regarding the planet’s future.

Instagram: zedani

a41i6822-editedDana Awartani – National Cultural Awards Winner

Dana Awartani is a conceptual artist who utilizes many mediums such as performances, intricate manuscript illumination, embroidery, ceramics, and more. Drawing  inspiration from Arabic poetry, culture, and heritage her artistic style stems from the creation of her own pigments, which ultimately reinforces her ideas. She is currently completing her ‘Ijaza’ certificate to further her commitment and practice to preserve the Islamic Illuminations skills. She will be  displaying her latest work at the upcoming 21’39 Jeddah Art exhibition organized by the Saudi Art Council.

Instagram: danaawartani_art

studionasseralsalem-12751544_126151074442783_381579047_nNasser Alsalem

Nasser Alsalem is a traditionally trained calligrapher specializing in the Arabic written word, and he also possesses an Ijaza, the ultimate certification for an Islamic calligrapher. Developing the traditional artform with mixed media, he expands upon calligraphy’s conceptual potential, melding classic art with modern techniques to create stunning artwork that incorporates different tools like light. His artwork in Noor Riyadh entitled God Is Alive, He Shall Not Die gave audiences a more spiritual and devotional experience.

Instagram: NasserAlsalem

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Rock and Roll in the East: Raif Bukhari

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As he tunes his guitar, Raif Bukhari knows the rhythm he wants to play at the back of his head. Like most musicians, he began playing the guitar at an early age, but it was only when he turned 17 that he decided to pursue music further.


He experiments with his music and discovers new ways to evolve the music scene of the country. He collaborates with the different bands of the city but also focuses on his musical identity solo. He recently quit his day job to pursue his professional career in music. With all his cards on the table, he puts all of his energy into his music, expressing his innermost feelings through the melodies and the strings of the guitar strum.

Stay tuned onto our social media for our video campaign Walk With Me exploring the beauty of the Kingdom through the eyes of local homegrown scouts.

Stay tuned onto our social media for our video campaign Walk With Me exploring the beauty of the Kingdom through the eyes of local homegrown scouts.

He aims to reach as many people through his music and allow the listeners to relate to the emotions he’s trying to express. He starts his day with a coffee on his balcony while playing with his little kitty, then gives fate control of how his day turns out. When writing his music, Raif listens to his emotions and lets the guitar do the rest.

balconyThree Happy Places

His Balcony
Being in the comfort of his home, Raif’s balcony has a beautiful sea view, perfect for sound inspiration and long conversations. He spends most of his days sitting on the balcony enjoying the sound of the waves crashing.

Land Bridge
He discovered it on one of his adventures where a piece of land paves its way into the sea. When you head there at the right time of the year, you can witness an abundance of birds migrating, creating surreal scenery.

Judah Rocks
Also known as the Grand Canyon of Saudi Arabia, the breathtaking view of the Judah rocks allow Raif to wind down and help him get inspiration for his music.

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Reviving Old Professions: Mohammed Saad

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Based in Makkah  but works in Jeddah, Mohammed Saad’s day starts with a daily one-hour drive to his work in Angawi house. Over time, he began taking advantage of this drive by listening to different podcasts about his work or interests.


Mohammed has been a woodworker since his early days. He learned the handcrafting skill from his brother and applied it to wood. He combined calligraphy and woodworking for his first-ever project, and the smell of timber got imprinted on him ever since.

When his shift is done, Mohammed heads back home to continue working in his home workstation, experimenting and learning more about wood. He buys his wood almost weekly from Hiraj Al Khashab, where he handpicks the timber himself. He learned to identify the different characteristics of woodby mere sight. Just one look and he can know everything needed.

Intricately hand crafted wooden spoon by Mohammed Saad

Intricately hand crafted wooden spoon by Mohammed Saad

When Mohammed is not working with wood, he is exploring the diverse Makkah desert. From mountains to valleys, Mohammed appreciates the different landscapes merged in one city. He proudly spends most of his day working with wood or thinking of wood, achieving the peace of mind he desired when he first started working with such a fine and delicate element.

Desert road in remote rural area of Tabuk in north western Saudi Arabia

Desert road in remote rural area of Tabuk in north western Saudi Arabia

Three Happy Places

Angawi House
Being his workplace, Mohammed views it as a place to explore his creativity and learn from the masters as much as he could.

Hiraj Al Khashab
Mohammed has a routine trip to the Hiraj to purchase the raw material. He carefully chooses the best wood to take back to his station. (He spends a good amount of time selecting the best of the best).

Makkah’s Desert
Makkah’s desert, one of the most diverse topographies in the Kingdom, offers a variety of experiences. You can visit mountains, caves, valleys, and sandy deserts all at once.

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Riyadh Through her Lense: Sarah Al Ansary

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As Sarah Al Ansary adjusts settings on her camera, she knows exactly what she will shoot and how she envisions narrating the story.


An architecture student that has recently discovered her passion for photography, Sarah is fascinated by Riyadh’s streets and took it as her responsibility to document it through her lens.

Her favorite place to head to is the bustling Souk Al Zal, where the smoke of the bakhoor fills the air with fragrant nostalgia, and you hear loud auctioneers entice you to take another look at the various traditional wears on sale. She grows more proud of her city as she sees tourists discover her culture and marvel at the prism of colors she has grown up with.

Stories of Falconry in the meandering streets of Ad Dirah, Riyadh

Stories of Falconry in the meandering streets of Ad Dirah, Riyadh

History paves the path for the future; well, that’s what our ancestors often say; each of the mud bricks of Ad Diriyah tells a story that Sarah tries carefully to hear she appreciates the city’s humble beginnings.

Exploring the ancient architectures in Ad Diriyah, Riyadh

Exploring the ancient architectures in Ad Diriyah, Riyadh

Three Happy Places

Al Olaya
Surrounded by skyscrapers and commercial shops, Sarah enjoys Riyadh’s lively and diverse nature. She heads to the top of the Kingdom tower turns off her camera, and lets her eyes do the capturing. When the view is that beautiful, no camera comes close to the human eye.

Al Murabba
A mixture between apartment buildings, office spaces, and governmental ministries, Al Murabba is one of the melting pots of Riyadh, with people from all over the city heading there for work or even entertainment.

Ad Diriyah
As an architecture student, Sarah appreciates and understands the importance of preserving the past through buildings and monuments. She takes a stroll and gathers references that might help her in her studies in the near future.

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The Freediving Enthusiast: Ghadeer Al Nassier

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The sea changes tides so does Ghadeer Nassier as she dives deeper into the hidden crevices of the beautiful azure waters that ripple with every movement she discovers herself.


As one of the founders of the freediving community, she connects with people who love diving as much as she does. Although they are a reasonably small community, the conversation they have impact her profoundly.

Freediving consists of holding your breath for as long as you can and dive underwater wearing nothing but fins, a mask, and some weight to help you go down faster. The most crucial part of freediving is to perform some breathing exercises before plunging in to avoid accidents.

Georgios G. Shipwreck, Tabuk

Georgios G. Shipwreck, Tabuk

As the sun rises and the sky is ruled with orange hues, she plans her day, packing her bags with everything she needs because she knows it’s going to be a long day. As she heads to ride a boat, she feels energized just thinking about being under the water. As the clock hits nine, she is already home unwinding.

Her explorative nature is not limited to the sea. Although she has a special connection to the waters, Ghadeer deeply enjoys discovering hidden gems and spots around the city and kingdom. She engages with the city and its people. Sometimes she finds herself in random conversations with strangers. She is one with people, and it is the people that make her city.

Beautiful tropical coral reef with shoal or red coral fish Anthias. Wonderful underwater world with corals, tropical fish

Three Happy Places

Coral Gardens
One of the most prestigious features of the Red Sea, coral gardens is a natural underwater location filled with an abundance of colorful corals that characterize the essence of the Red Sea.

Asfan Eagle Rock
Renowned for its historical castles, Asfan Eagle Rock, is a popular hiking location with a breathtaking trail. Ghadeer heads there every now and then to either camp or hike with a group of her friends.

JumpowlaneJarir Mall
A family entertainment center offering various arcade games and activities, Ghadeer heads to their ten-lane bowling arena and enjoys a bowling game with her friends and family.

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AleXa and Badr -The Perfect Harmony

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Spotify RADAR collaboration.


Southwest Asia meets East Asia with the new single by Kpop pheom AleXa and Saudi-Kuwaiti popstar Badr Al-Shuaibi. The song is titled “Is It On?” and was launched under Spotify’s RADAR program.

The RADAR program is Spotify’s global artist program, exclusively designed to help emerging artists around the world reach the next stage in their careers and strengthen their connection to listeners. Spotify provides artists taking part in RADAR with resources and access to integral marketing opportunities to help them boost their careers, in addition to expanded reach and exposure to 178 markets worldwide.

Spotify has been preparing for the RADAR collaboration for over a year. While the track will be fully owned by both artists’ labels, Spotify oversaw the collaboration project starting with connecting the two artists to financial and marketing support. The support not only includes the cost of production and on-platform promotion, but it also includes billboard placements in New York Times Square, as well as social media, support to maximize exposure and drive listenership globally.bader-min

In an exclusive interview with Destination KSA, upon being asked about her experience on this collaboration, AleXa said, “First and foremost, the fact that I can collaborate with a wonderful artist like Badr is amazing because I have never done a collab with another foreign artist before and the fact that we can combine our cultures and give this incredible one of a kind never before seen, can’t get it anywhere else sound and aesthetic I think it is super powerful.”

Badr added that “Alexa is an amazing artist and I loved her before this collab, but what made me excited is that Spotify was the generator of the project” working with her was “Smooth and fun beyond expectations. We have similarities as much as differences.”

The song is a beautiful mix of both the musician’s talents that is an energy-packed bop that will stick in your mind and compel you to add it to your playlist, giving us a peek into the future of music that doesn’t see geography but sticks to finding a beat that drives the world.is-it-on-radar-min

This evolution of music is amazing to see Badr states “The borders between countries are disappearing as we speak. It’s important to bring people together. We will find out how many similarities we have together.” This excites AleXa and she added that “Music has become borderless. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand the language it speaks to you regardless. And if there’s a melody that you like, it will speak to your soul. Even though K-pop has grown and become a huge force in the world I feel that other languages have the chance now to reach a worldwide audience” she also exclaimed ”There are so many good beats in Arabic music! It’s all going to take over the world and I can’t wait for that day to come!”

Both artists are also working on their future projects, with Badr planning to release his third album in 2022, ending the trilogy he began conceptualizing three years ago. AleXa hopes to hold another online concert and has a comeback in store, which she says is “ going to be very different musically and image-wise.”

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Island Flavors in Arabia: Chef Adam Schihab

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Hailing from the Maldives, Chef Adam is one of the only people from the Maldives who is currently working in the Kingdom.


“Apart from those who work as diplomats at the Maldivian embassy,” the chef admits. Now based out Khobar, the executive chef is head of operations at the Vanille Restaurant of Vanilla Group Co.

“I am a chef, entrepreneur, and food blogger. I have worked in ten other countries—Italy, Philippines, and Oman. I had Four Seasons, Waldorf Astoria, Conrad Hilton Dusit Thani, Ritz-Carlton, and Relais & Chateaux in France.”

Chef Adam remebers one of the most memorable food moments for him “One heavy rainy day, I was in the farm with my grandpa and saw him cutting a giant pumpkin and removing the seeds, putting it taste fantastic” this memory prompted him to create a recipe pumpkin seeds.

Chef Adam is a classically trained French pastry chef and from multiple continents to the dishes he creates for Vanille: “I like to add coconut to chocolate. As islanders, we love things with coconuts and sweet potatoes; many fishes and dates also play a massive role in our native food. However, being an international chef, I don’t food at all. I like to incorporate more European cuisine and pasties and bread, and that’s what drives me.”

Known for making fantastic croissants, Chef Adam recently made a croissant using Barbosa filling. “I like to incorporate local Saudi references, such as that in my recipes.” Chef Adam shares that his favorite thing to do is milling his own flour to make fresh croissants and bread.

Instagram: adamschihab
Instagram: vanilleksa

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