Spotlight: Get that big break!

The world is shrinking with the onset of social media and is proving to be a platform for musicians and artists in general to take up their work at international level. In the past an artist had to get the right breaks to reach a certain stature and depend on the traditional media such as the newspaper, radio and television to launch their career. Today the artists are able to present themselves directly to their audience.
Three platforms are already existing that have proven to be very successful for artists, according to Haitham Hilal al Hajri, Cyber Security Expert.
“YouTube is the tool to be used when you want to broadcast yourself whether you want to sing, show your gaming talent, to show case your acting talent. There is Pinterest – it is more specifically on designs, painting, interior decoration and so on. This is a good platform where people are already making money selling their art work. Instagram is sort of a hybrid — if you want to broadcast a short video clip you can do so, in addition to your artistic photo shoots. In other words social media is a platform where you can advertise oneself,” said Al Hajri.
Another advantage of the social media is the borderless community of audience. “The social media has expanded the horizon for the young and upcoming artists as it is a channel to promote themselves to the world. It has proven to reach a mass audience. And now the public decides if you are good enough to be promoted and shared in the local media to reach out a wider audience and not limited to a country, but to the whole world. So nowadays we see a lot of singers and an example is Justin Beiber who started on YouTube and is now an A list artist,” he explained.
Recently the international artist Ahmed al Shaiba was in Oman to perform at the Al Bustan Palace Hotel. He is the YouTube sensation who has one of the most interesting stories on career path. He had never taken a liking to Oud. In his younger days as he was growing up in Yemen, his sister had bought back a small oud from her honeymoon and presented to Ahmed’s older brother. It was lying idle for a very long time when once his older brother’s friends visited him at home and taught his brother a few of the notes on Oud. Ahmed listened in keenly and soon when no one was looking around, he took it to practice. He tried to see if oud could have other sounds and soon he was performing cover songs of Michael Jackson’s hits. Once he started presenting it on YouTube in no time he was a much talked about artist. Today he is a New York based artist popularising the traditional musical instrument of Arabia to the whole world with millions of followers across the globe.
In Oman, there is a band that is also gaining momentum through their Instagram account. Lujinia Band from Oman consists of many artists who have successfully come together to compose and perform music of different cultures and in various languages. In addition to their 33.6k followers they have their own YouTube Channel. The band leader is Moosa Abdul Rahman al Balushi said they enjoy the opportunities that have come forward through the social media but the challenge is that most of the band members also have independent careers so it is not always easy to get leave in time for performances abroad.
“We have participated in concerts in Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. We have also been invited to collaborate with artist from Africa. I was also invited by a US based artist. I was also Chosen to participate in the music festival in Lebanon. I consider it as a great pride to perform with international artists such as Omar Peshi and Jahda Wahba.