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ALULA: In the historic epicenter of cross-cultural exchange, between the majestic mountains of AlUla, popstar Jason Derulo took to the stage to deliver an unparalleled performance during the second edition of the Azimuth Music Festival last weekend, the saudi national day.
The American artist wowed the crowd with some of his most recent hits including ‘Swalla’ and ‘Jelebi Baby’ as well as some of his old favorites such as ‘Solo’ and ‘In My Head’.
The concert took place in the same valley that hosted the Desert X contemporary art exhibition earlier this year, ensuring a special musical experience for nationals and visitors on the occasion of the celebration of the 92nd National Day of Kingdom.
“Anytime you can come to a place and have an experience…it makes the show so much better because it’s something completely different that you can’t find anywhere else,” Derulo told Arab News in an interview. exclusive.
Historically known as a strategic crossroads for trade and pilgrimage routes, the settlement harbors hidden gems such as the Narrow Valley Oasis and the unique Elephant Rock. Part of the province of Medina, AlUla is a symbol of the cultural richness found throughout the eastern region of Saudi Arabia and beyond.
Whenever I can say how amazing this place is, I jump at the chance, and this is another one of those opportunities.
“Coming through the rock and all the sand is almost like a getaway from it all, and bringing all that luxury in the middle of the desert is unlike any other experience,” he said.
“Here you can really see all the stars, you can see all the rocks, the mountains, you get a piece of this world. Then you bring the highest level of luxury to it and it’s just a blend of worlds that you can’t get anywhere else,” Derulo added.
Derulo has performed across the region, headlining in Saudi Arabia for the first time in 2018 at the Saudia Diriyah E-Prix alongside Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas and Egypt’s Amr Diab.
“I have been performing for a very long time and I can say that this experience was unique, unlike all the experiences I have had. I’ve played all over the world and even coming here today I pulled out my phone – I was like, ‘This is amazing,'” he said.
The three-day Azimuth Festival is one of many initiatives, part of Vision 2030, aimed at positioning the Kingdom as a tourism hub.
“I was actually one of the first performers, if not the first performer, to perform with an integrated crowd of men and women here, and I feel honored and blessed to be a little piece of history. “
“Whenever I can get the word out about how amazing this place is, I jump at the chance, and this is another one of those opportunities,” Derulo said.
“I love that people from all over the world have come here and made this home because it really is a special place. They have a sense of pride, even a little piece of property you would think they are from here and they know so much about the history,” he added.
The artist believes that Saudi Arabia is on the verge of becoming one of the “greatest” attractions in the world.
“It’s something that’s only just begun, although people are just starting to see it, I’m sure it’s been in the works for so long. There’s still so much room for growth, but it’s already amazing,” he said.
Bringing in a diverse range of local and international artists was a key objective of the event, in conjunction with the MDLBEAST entertainment festival and the Royal Commission for AlUla.
Ahmed Alammary, the Saudi DJ and creative head of MDLBEAST, told Arab News that the celebration is an opportunity to create opportunities for cultural exchange with international artists while reaching out to local audiences.
Derulo hailed efforts to globalize local talent and create new avenues of entertainment, recalling his performance on the LIV Golf professional tour, funded by the Public Investment Fund.
“It becomes a melting pot, and it’s beautiful to see… I think Saudi Arabia is really pushing the boundaries in terms of tourism and technology. When you think of the arts when you think of entertainment, Saudi Arabia has become very high on the list because it has really taken a stand and really taken a giant leap in this world,” Derulo said.