Cheb Khaled raced his way to the top of the Yasalam lineup
Up close with Cheb Khaled (Facebook)
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The Yasalam After-Race concert series has announced its Arabic music roster for the event’s opening night on November 26, with headlining acts that include legendary Algerian musician Cheb Khaled, Lebanese folk singer Fares Karam and Emirati songstress Aryam. Best-selling electronic dance music producer Said Mrad will also be entertaining the thousands of race fans expected to attend the Middle Eastern showcase, while international artists set to perform at the festival’s seventh anniversary remain to be announced.
Arguably one of the biggest Arab artists to headline the event in years will be Rai musician, Khaled. Credited with helping to mainstream Arabic music to the world, the 55-year-old has sold over 80 million albums worldwide and is recognised as one of the region’s most progressive and socially conscious artists.
From his first global smash hit Didi (1993) and universally acclaimed love ballad Aïcha (1996), to his latest chart topper C’est la vie, produced by Moroccan-Swedish producer RedOne, the singer-songwriter remains one of the only Middle Eastern artists to achieve recognition and success outside the borders of the Arab world.
In 2009, Khaled spoke to City Times about the struggles he often faced for his controversial music. “I received no support when I was growing up and I suffered for my art and was marginalised. At least today these young artists can sing more freely,” he said.
The concert line-up will also feature popular artist Fares Karam, best known for his traditional style of Levantine folk music. The best-selling singer, best known for uplifting ‘Dabke’ dance hits including Al Tannoura and Al Ghorbi, is considered something of a national treasure in his native Lebanon nearly two decades after launching his career.
Only race ticket holders will have access to the concert. For tickets call 800 927 or visit www.yasmarinacircuit.com/.
By Mohamad Kadry