Music in 2009

Open Mic’s Zahra speaks out.

Like many of you, I’m looking forward to the new year. And, being a good – albeit slightly scruffy – girl, it’s around now that I start to consider the things I want to do in 2009. I know I can’t change the world – I have enough difficulty with little things like remembering my boyfriend’s birthday – but with a year-sized blank canvas ahead, it’s always best to start with some good intentions.

So here’s a list of New Year’s resolutions, hopes and wishes. I figure that if I’ve put them down on paper and had them published, you’ll hold me to them. Clever, eh? Here goes.

1 I want to help get Dubai’s musicians into the world’s spotlight. Remember that famous photo of Roger Federer playing tennis on the Burj Al Arab? I want to organise something similar, but with Borrison Ivy, Beat Antenna, Juliana Down, Sandwash and a heap of other bands playing on the helipad. What do you say, guys? How about The Burj Rock Festival?

2 The Dubai music scene is growing fast, but I still want to see more bands going out and playing live on the local beat. With Dubai Lime’s open mic nights, Rock Nation at Touch and bands getting together to put on their own live music nights like Ampulance, there should be plenty of opportunity to get some real experience. I’ll play my part by promoting live gigs as much as I can.

3 Dubai’s on every other page in the record books, so how about getting Dubai musicians in there too? If you’ve got any cool, record-breaking ideas, let me know about them through the Open Mic Facebook group.

4 African music is massively prevalent here in Dubai, so I reckon I ought to find out more about it and put together a radio documentary on reggae’s roots in Ethiopia. Of course, I’d need sponsors first. Did anyone say Emirates Airlines?

5 I’d love to see a UAE band make it in Europe or in North America and then have them back on the show to tell us all about it. A few have been getting close, like Juliana Down, Nervecell, Jonas Desai and Paul Nolan (who’s shooting off to tour Ireland shortly) and I really want to see them live up to their potential.

6 This year Open Mic has featured human beatboxers, a dub poet, a Chilean punk and a rave-electro DJ/producer. My mission for 2009 has to be to find a stylophonist and a Welsh harpist for the show.

7 I want to learn the bass guitar and form a band. Melodic punk, anyone? So those are my promises, but I need you! If you can help out with any of these things, or if there’s anything musically you want to accomplish in 2009 and I can help, please get in touch on and we can make them happen together.

Zahra showcases the latest local musical talent on Open Mic every Saturday from 8pm-10pm on Dubai Eye 103.8

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