UAE loved the independent music
An independent music scene is a localized independent music-oriented (or, more specifically, indie rock/indie pop-oriented) community of bands and their audiences. Local scenes can play a key role in musical history and lead to the development of influential genres; for example, No Wave from New York City, Madchester from Manchester, and Grunge from Seattle.
Indie scenes are often created as a response to mainstream or popular music. These scenes are created in opposition of mainstream culture and music and often contribute to the formation of oppositional identities among individuals involved in the scene.
It all started when Izzy Abidi, who has lived her life between England and the UAE, felt the need of a place in Dubai where people could enjoy local live music and also connect with people who were interested either in performing or listening to music, just like in the UK.
Having lived and performed in London, she decided to bring her experience to Dubai. So, in 2013 Roseleaf Café, behind Dubai Garden Centre, became the first venue for Freshly Ground Sounds.
The inaugural event went down well with folk, and Izzy was invited for a repeat show the following week.
Slowly the numbers started growing and Freshly Ground Sounds moved to a park big enough to accommodate 200 people. More than 15 local acts started showing interest in joining the line-up for the events.
“The idea to form this creative initiative was to bring together a local community that enjoyed playing or listening to local music,” explained Izzy, founder and creative director of The Freshly Ground Sounds. We speak to the Izzy to know more.
What’s the objective of Freshly Ground Sounds?
To develop a sustainable community for local independent music and the creative arts, contributing to the creative economy of the UAE. It’s a social enterprise.
What do you think of the music scene here, do you get enough support?
The local music scene in the UAE is what you make of it. Freshly managed to start with one guitar in a cafe and grew through the support of the local community and business. The support is there and it’s important to remember the wider context of how far the scene has come in such a short space of time. As musicians develop and begin to compare the music scenes of Seattle, Melbourne and East London to Dubai, it’s natural to get frustrated when such comparisons are made. Dubai should be compared with other cities the same age and for its age and transient nature, the UAE’s music scene is great. It’s a small community, but it’s passionate.
What genres of music can one expect to hear at a Freshly concert?
All genres. We’ve had everything from gypsy folk, Iraqi hip hop, indie pop, classic rock, rap to ethereal electro. Anything goes. Freshly encourages creativity and variety.