In March 2020, Spotify launched RADAR, an emerging-artist program spotlighting rising talent from around the globe. From Germany to Japan, Brazil to the MENA region and beyond, the program has now surpassed more than two billion global streams. Marking the next chapter of the program in the region, Spotify is excited to announce young Jordanian viral sensation Issam Alnajjar as its latest RADAR artist in MENA. The partnership will see the global chart-topper collaborate with Canadian music production and DJ duo Loud Luxury and Iraqi-Canadian singer and song-writer Ali Gatie for the release of “Turning Me Up” (Hadal Ahbek). Stream the single on Spotify on Friday, 09 April.

The program will further boost Alnajjar’s presence across the region and beyond through Spotify’s strength in discovery and best-in-class editorial and marketing support. This includes billboard placements in New York’s Times Square, plus a full suite of bespoke social promotion to help fans from around the world discover his music.

Wissam Khodur, Artist and Label Partnerships, Spotify Middle East and North Africa commented, “Our partnership with rising superstar Issam Alnajjar marks another exciting chapter in our commitment to empowering emerging artists and strengthening their connection to regional and global audiences. We have been closely watching Issam’s steady ascent over the past few months - gaining immense popularity as a viral icon and building a vast community of fans in a remarkably organic way.”

Rami Mohsen, Head of Music, Spotify Middle East and North Africa, added, “As a catalyst for supporting the culture and talent of the Middle East and North Africa, RADAR aims to celebrate the diversity of the artists and talent that the region holds on every level, across all genres and languages. Our program identifies artists with the potential to break across borders and brings them together. With our second installment of RADAR MENA, we continue to build on Spotify’s history of supporting the next generation of the region’s superstars to reach the next stage in their careers.”

Issam Alnajjar’s RADAR spotlight comes at an opportune time. The 17-year old singer-songwriter’s recent single dominated the top spot on Spotify’s Global Viral 50 with 30 million+ streams, as well as landing number one positions in similar Viral country charts including the US, UK, UAE Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, India and Egypt.

Commenting on the collaboration, Issam Alnajjar said, “Hadal Ahbek” was a turning point in my career. Getting the chance to revisit it in English with Ali Gatie and Loud Luxury is insane. To add to that, having Spotify back me up and including me as part of their RADAR program is a great opportunity not only on a local level, but on a global one as well.”

Since the launch of RADAR, 23 global sister programs and 175 RADAR-affiliated emerging artists from around the world have been able to grow and attain a broader audience. RADAR’s artists have collectively generated 100+ million hours of listening and reached more than 112 million listeners. 

Source: Edelman