Arabic music is having a cultural moment thanks to TikTok

Pitchfork writer Danny Hajjar discusses how platforms like TikTok and Netflix have given Arabic music a global audience.

Black and white image of a woman with geometric braided hair and graphic eyeliner.

Lana Lubany

The way we’re discovering new music is changing.

Traditional channels like radio have been taken over by social media apps such as TikTok or the placement of songs in the latest Netflix series.

That’s meant more diverse listening for music fans as songs from around the world find a larger audience than ever before.

Music writer Danny Hajjar wrote about these cultural shifts for Pitchfork. His story, “Arabic Music Is on the Brink of a Global Breakthrough,” explores how platforms like TikTok and the breakdown of traditional music industry gatekeeping have allowed a new generation of Arab artists to reach a global audience on their own terms.

Listen: Music writer Danny Hajjar talks breaking language barriers in music

Hajjar joined CultureShift to discuss his article and share music from rising artists in the Arab world like Palestinian-Chilean singer Elyanna, Egyptian artist Wegz and UK-based Palestinian-American artist Lana Lubany.

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper
    Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host of "In the Groove" on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. Hooper has covered stories for the New York Times, NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.