Xchange 23


XCHANGE is a series of workshops fueled by the endless potential of MENA’s music scenes. Hosted in four different cities every year, these workshops are catalyzing the growth of our music industry, sparking important conversations in the lead-up to our annual XP Music Futures conference.

4   16 CITIES           WORKSHOPS   12       10 SPEAKERS MUSIC SHOWS


Deep dive into the ins and outs of the region’s music scene, its gaps and opportunities, one city at a time. We bring together industry experts for vibrant dialogues, talent showcases, and cultural exchanges, all centered around XP's four core pillars






XCHANGE: AMMAN Creating Lasting Impact In partnership with Malahi Entertainment


1.Amman's musicians are incredibly talented and passionate, but are sometimes hesitant about pushing boundaries, in fear of eliciting controversy through their work. This calls for the scene to join forces and create spaces that encourage the scene and drive the music movement.

2.The Amman arts, culture and music scene benefits greatly from grants, foundations, embassies and international institutes. The key to the sustainability and growth of the scene is knowing the motivations behind partnerships and weighing out the collective benefits and potential downsides. These informed decisions ensure the longevity of the scene. 

3."A lot of the time people in Amman are working in silos, and it's hard to know who's doing what. In order to foster sustainable growth in our music scene we really need to bring people together. That's why we've brought together a label manager, a venue owner and a community radio founder to close the gaps and find opportunities for growth." 

– Shermine Sawalha, Founder of Malahi Entertainment

XCHANGE: CAIRO  From Scene to Industry In partnership with Scene Noise


1."Egypt's music scene has undergone massive shifts over the last decade. For instance, we’ve gone from a time when rap music was banned on the radio to a period where local rappers are selling out shows attended by over 10,000 fans. Moreover, the industry is brimming with event organizers and promoters who thrive on pushing the boundaries of the nightlife scene, often on very tight budgets. These limitations are actually blessings, allowing us to develop our local talents using local resources."

– Timmy Mowafi, Co-founder, MO4 Network

2.AI is slowly gaining traction in Cairo's music industry – though most are still focusing on building better experiences in real life. Those turning to AI highlight improvements in efficiency with artists; enhancing visibility through playlists, cutting costs for production and content creation, and more access to new sounds.

3.Partnerships, collaborations and consistency are key components for the sustainability and longevity of Egypt's music industry and events. This includes having a shared vision, objective and purpose that responds to "the why" of what we're working towards.

XCHANGE: ABU DHABI What Does it Take to Be a “City of Music”  In partnership with Berklee Abu Dhabi


1.Abu Dhabi's designation as a "City of Music" is not a beginning or end; it's happening mid-stream. It's built on previous work, and an invitation to do more; an opportunity to bring international artists, and to grow the grassroots scene."

– Bill Bragin, Executive Artistic Director, NYUAD 

2.The Abu Dhabi music scene is pushing the industry standard by creating a diverse & inclusive scene for all genres. The challenge lies in encouraging individuals to branch out of their own scenes, and support all kinds of music events. 

3.As technology continues to thrive, artists and record labels are able to cut time and budgets in generating music and media associated with their crafts. But what does this mean for IP, copyrights, and ethical music production?


When the workshops wrap up, the party takes over! XCHANGE Nite shed the spotlight on local and regional talents, turning each evening into a mesmerizing musical exchange.