Culture, Fat Nancy's Dubai, Music
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Fair Played Music. Dubai

“Every city has its own sound. It is created by musicians that are working hard at their craft and fighting for a chance to be heard against the most popular music that comes out of Hollywood, New York and London.” said Dubai based music producer and entrepreneur Joshua F Williams in a recent conversation with FNND.

There is a lot of music being made in Dubai by locally-based artists. Whilst very popular within the local music scene crowd, a lot of this music has yet to make its way into to ears of the everyday Dubai’an.


All over the world independent musicians often struggle to get their music heard through traditional outlets such as radio and have to rely mainly on their live performances to gain new listeners and generate an income, and Dubai is no exception. As co-founder of Fair Played Music (together with Fahim Al Qasimi), Williams hopes to change this very soon.

The idea behind Fair Played Music is simple; instead of switching on the radio and listening to music made in the US or UK, why not listen to a playlist of music that has all been locally generated, by locally based musicians? As Williams explains:

“We believe it is time for people to support their local music scene, so we curated a playlist of quality music from local artists called Fair Played Music. These artists are independent and when you stream it, 100% of the impact goes back into the Dubai eco-system. Anyone that downloads and plays it will be amazed at the quality of music in this city. They will finally get to hear Dubai’s sound.  This playlist is 100% independent, so a coffee shop can support Fair Played Music by just downloading and streaming it. We’ll even give the location a plaque that certifies them as a Fair Played Music supporter. The music gets fair played, and the artists get fair paid.”

The fact that the music scene in Dubai is not as established as in other countries is actually beneficial to both artists and entrepreneurs, as it allows people to think outside the box and create a new system that works better for all parties involved. Williams:

“In the UAE, artists don’t have to conform to any industry standard. For example, with all these advances in technology, the music business in the States is still following a template that has been around for over 100 years. In the UAE, we can and are creating a new music business model that bypasses the middle man and pays the artists directly. There’s nowhere else in the world that can currently do that. We’re on the verge of a new chapter for independent music in the region.”


At FNND, we are excited at the prospect that artists will soon be able to have their music heard by a whole new audience, and make a supplemental income based out of their music being streamed. This is exactly the kind of support artists need to be able to stay in Dubai and continue to make new music, which in turn will lead to a blossoming of the local music scene; more local music being played will lead to more music being made. Win-win, as far as we’re concerned!

Listen to the Fair Played Music playlist here (for free):

Photo credit: Abbo Abbondandolo


  1. Pingback: Fair Played Music . Dubai – Caffeine Trek

  2. Pingback: Fair Played Music . Dubai – Caffeine Trek

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