The Best Way to Discover New Music Out of the Middle East

Tunes about social change.

(ingehogenbijl /

There are so many ways to unearth burgeoning, new music online that it can be overwhelming. But what about hearing a whole new kind of regional music? Founded in Bahrain, is a platform in both English and Arabic for discovering underground and up and coming artists in the Middle East and North Africa.

As well as bringing Arab musicians to the forefront, the platform engages users with suggestions and recommendations across the app and through its online radio program, including several social justice-oriented channels and podcasts from across the Middle East that broadcast in-depth interviews. Friends can share and sound off on what they are listening to, and the platform allows users to stream everything from Syrian indie rock bands to Kurdish electronic dance DJs, Iranian rap and Egyptian folkloric music for free - enabling an otherwise rare and constructive discourse on music in the region.

Mideastunes showcases over 1,700 bands and 9,000 tracks, all ranging in styles and sound, but one thing unites them all together, as TIME Magazine hailed, “the music is about social change.” A fitting description and solid words of empowerment, indeed.

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