9 — 11 DECEM­BER 2022

Jorja Smith, Cent­ral Cee, Bas, Khadija El War­za­zia, Raps­ody, and Coast Con­tra to take the main stage at Sole DXB 2022

Sole DXB announces a big week­end line-up for its 10-year anniversary with their host, Has­san Hajjaj

Tick­ets are now on sale at www.soledxb.com

Sole DXB, with the sup­port of its stra­tegic part­ners Dubai Design Dis­trict (d3) and Dubai Cal­en­dar, is happy to announce their 2022 10-year anniversary stage line-up. The première cul­tur­al & life­style fest­iv­al returns on Decem­ber 9, 10 and 11 at d3, a glob­al hub for art design and cre­ativ­ity and a mem­ber of TECOM Group PJSC. Tick­ets are now on sale at www.soledxb.com.

Sole DXB cur­ates a mix of glob­al and region­al tal­ent, offer­ing fest­iv­al goers a chance to exper­i­ence some of the biggest names from across the industry, span­ning hip hop, soul, R&B, and dance music over one week­end. Sat­urday, Decem­ber 10, Cent­ral Cee per­forms his first head­line show in Dubai. Eng­lish sing­er-song­writer, Jorja Smith, takes over the head­line slot on Decem­ber 11, clos­ing night.

Moroc­can tra­di­tion­al vocal­ist and per­cus­sion­ist, Khadija El War­za­zia, will be on main stage for her first per­form­ance in the region, along with Dream­ville rap­per, Bas, Roc Nation artist Raps­ody, and South Afric­an dance sen­sa­tion Muzi, all com­ing out for their first fest­iv­al appear­ance, along with Grammy nom­in­ated artist, Mumu Fresh. Felukah, TAC, and Freek all join the fest­iv­al lineup to cel­eb­rate the rise of Arab tal­ent across the region and its’ diaspora.

Oth­er explos­ive addi­tions to this years’ lineup will include LA massive, Coast Contra.

Acts Con­firmed:

Jorja Smith — The clas­sic­ally trained vocal­ist, song­writer and award-win­ning artist who grew up in the indus­tri­al West Mid­lands town of Walsall will take the main stage at Sole DXB this year. Blessed with a chor­al sound in the range of her voice, she will be per­form­ing on stage songs from her crit­ic­ally acclaimed album ‘Lost and Found’ and her biggest song to date ‘Be Hon­est’, the sound of hot girl sum­mer 2019 fea­tur­ing Nigeri­an sing­er and self-pro­claimed ‘Afric­an Giant’ Burna Boy, the col­lab­or­a­tion that made sure that Jorja con­tin­ued to show­case the many faces of her song­writ­ing with some of the most well respec­ted male artists in the charts. This is in addi­tion to oth­er hits like ‘Gum Body’ with Burna Boy, ‘Im Wor­kin’ with UK rap god­fath­er Giggs, dance­hall banger ‘Come Over’ feat Pop­caan, ‘Be Right Back’ and more.

Cent­ral Cee — Grow­ing up in and around Shep­herds Bush, sur­roun­ded by the rich­ness of music and cul­tur­al his­tory, Cent­ral Cee has found a pur­pose for him­self that reflects the com­munity around him. In a year where the unex­pec­ted has become nor­mal, Cent­ral Cee has been mak­ing his name heard through­out 2020. Day In The Life, his first release of the year, sees Cent­ral Cee deliv­er com­ment­ary on trap life while dis­play­ing his grime-like flow over a melod­ic, piano-led drill beat. He’s garnered mil­lions of streams this year alone with Load­ing being his most suc­cess­ful release to date. He’s only 22 but he moves with the vis­ion and pres­ence of someone much older, Cent­ral Cee doesn’t want his music to be just for the moment but over time, it’s clear that he wants to cre­ate a leg­acy for himself.

Bas — The son of Sudanese par­ents, Bas was raised in Par­is until the age of eight, when his fam­ily moved to Jamaica, Queens. He didn’t start rap­ping until 2010, and that was on a lark, after he was coerced by a friend.Touring with Cole fostered the fledgling rapper’s devel­op­ment as a per­former, while mix­tape releases such as Quarter Water Raised Me and Quarter Water Raised Me II elev­ated his pro­file. Cole signed Bas to Dream­ville releas­ing Last Winter, jok­ingly referred to as “An album from a n*gga who ain’t got alotta fans yet”. It was released as a digit­al down­load and a CD in April 2014.

Mumu Fresh — The Grammy nom­in­ated artist and Indi­gen­ous Music Award win­ner, Mumu Fresh (aka Maimouna Youssef) has toured inter­na­tion­ally as a crit­ic­ally acclaimed sing­er, Emcee, song­writer, act­iv­ist, work­shop facil­it­at­or and now audio engin­eer. She has col­lab­or­ated with vari­ous artists includ­ing Dave Chap­pelle, The Roots, Salaam Remi, D Smoke Ander­son Paak, Bruno Mars, Femi Kuti, Zap Mama, Nas, Jill Scott, Ed Sheer­an, Com­mon, Raphael Saadiq and Tobe Nwig­we just to name a few. While tour­ing 6 con­tin­ents, Mumu Fresh has built a rela­tion­ship with her engaged wide fan base who have shared and streamed her recor­ded music mil­lions of times in at least 100 coun­tries. In 2020, she foun­ded her own online music edu­ca­tion plat­form called “Muni­versity Stud­ies” to teach aspir­ing artists how to reima­gine the music busi­ness and thrive inde­pend­ently with purpose.

Khadija El War­za­zia — Khadija el War­za­zia is a vocal­ist, per­cus­sion­ist, and lead­er of Bnat el Hou­ar­iy­at, an all-women music and dance group based in Mar­rakech, Morocco.

They are “Hou­ar­iy­at” — who are Moroc­can women who sing ances­tral Hou­ara and Chaabi songs in loc­al all-women’s gath­er­ings in the Med­i­nas. Hou­ara music in its many forms (ferda, tqila) is a hybrid Arab and Amazigh music­al tra­di­tion ori­gin­at­ing in the South­west­ern Moroc­can towns of Tar­oud­ant and Ouled Teima and the sur­round­ing areas. Khadija and oth­er Hou­ar­iy­at of Mar­rakech con­tin­ue to pre­serve the Hou­ara tra­di­tion but with their own “Mar­rak­chi” vari­ation but still, keep the same rep­er­toire of songs that mostly sing to saints. Chaabi is “pop­u­lar” music widely adorned by Moroc­cans all over the coun­try because of its cel­eb­rat­ory nature and it’s expres­sion of com­mon sen­ti­ments around love, heart­break, and beauty. Although two dif­fer­ent ener­gies, both styles are known for their entran­cing poly­rhythms and call and response style.

Khadija el War­za­zia, who left school at a very young age and ded­ic­ated her life to loc­al music — is a female trail­blazer in her 22-year expert­ise in sev­er­al Moroc­can music­al tra­di­tions. Out­side of Hou­ara and Chaabi, she is one of the first women to pub­licly per­form Gnawa music, a tra­di­tion his­tor­ic­ally dom­in­ated by men. She cur­rently resides in the Med­ina of Mar­rakech and is known and respec­ted her dec­ades-long work with Abdelkabir Mer­chane, an icon in Gnawa repertoire.

Coast Con­tra — Twin broth­ers Ras and Taj Aus­tin, sons of West Coast rap legend Ras Kass and Soul song­stress Teedra Moses, met Colom­bi­an-born Rio Loz in high school to assemble Coast Con­tra. After releas­ing their first mix­tape, the trio found its fourth mem­ber Eric Jamal, a bub­bling rap­per out of North Phil­adelphia, PA. Coast Con­tra’s first offi­cial single “Queen & Slim” is the title track from the block­buster movie with the same name. The group’s debut album, “Apt. 505” was just released in the spring of 2022.

* Coast Con­tra (noun): a uni­verse where any­thing is pos­sible, and lim­it­a­tions are non-existent.

Muzi – He is one of the first names that come to mind when think­ing about mod­ern Afric­an music, one of the most revered musi­cians com­ing out of South Africa today (aka the Zulu Sky­walk­er) with co-signs from artists such as Chris Mar­tin, Damon Albarn, Black Cof­fee, Stormzy and reg­u­lar fea­tures on lead­ing music blogs includ­ing Noi­sey, Afropunk, Okay Africa, i‑D, and Com­plex. The proudly Zulu artist hails from a town­ship in Empan­geni where he first star­ted to con­ceive of his place in music, bolstered by the sup­port of his moth­er and soak­ing up the sounds of the time, there is no doubt that his roots play a sig­ni­fic­ant role in the music he makes. He expertly blends togeth­er the influ­ence of cut­ting edge urb­an and elec­tron­ic music with loc­al genres. Like the title of his hugely suc­cess­ful second album, Afro­vi­sion (2018), Muzi has a keen sense of the impres­sion he wants to make on his listen­ers. He is also fast-becom­ing the go-to pro­du­cer for music in ads and films, in addi­tion to provid­ing music for Apple, Ral­ph Lauren, Nan­dos, Vans, Jäger­meister, Free Digit­al (France), DSTV Africa, MRP Fash­ion, the hit Net­flix TV Show, Élite and the upcom­ing French fea­ture film L’Horizon.

Raps­ody — The Jamla/Roc Nation artist has spent the bet­ter part of the present dec­ade lap­ping peers and coun­ter­parts while mes­mer­iz­ing fans who still prefer their rhymes detailed and nutritious.The Snow Hill, North Car­o­lina nat­ive has more than held her own along­side greats like Kendrick Lamar, Black Thought and the late Mac Miller (in 2011, she toured with Miller on his Incred­ibly Dope Tour). She has been broad­cas­ted and hailed by media giants––from NPR to USA Today to TIME Magazine to BET (2013’s Hip Hop Cypher) to NBC (The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fal­lon, 2015). In 2014, XXL named her one of the 20 Greatest Female Rap­pers of All Time. The fol­low­ing year, Dr. Dre crowned her his “favor­ite female emcee.” In 2018, The Netflix/Mass Appeal 8 part doc­u­ment­ary series, RAPSURE Raps­ody is fea­tured as the only female artist and role mod­el in Epis­ode 6. She toured with Big K.R.I.T. in 2019 and hit

the road in 2020 for a tour to sup­port her latest album EVE. The North Car­o­lina nat­ive called the tour “A Black Woman Cre­ated This” con­tinu­ing the theme of her sopho­more LP of Black women empower­ment. All her hard work paid off as BET recog­nized her as “Lyr­i­cist of the Year” at the 2020 Hip Hop Awards. Later in 2020, she was fea­tured in Stevie Wonder’s song “Can­’t Put It In The Hands of Fate”. Raps­ody is cur­rently one the hosts for Revolt’s New Rap Video Count­down Show — “Off Top” along­side Big Tig­ger. This 4x Grammy nom­in­ee is also act­ive in phil­an­thropy and plays an import­ant role with social justice and social empowerment.

Anik Khan — Anik Khan is a Queens, NYC-based artist and entre­pren­eur who makes hip-hop that travels, draw­ing from his immig­rant roots and his inner city upbringing.

His 2021 double EP, “Denied // Approved” garnered mil­lions of streams and fea­tured col­lab­or­a­tions with Bas, Sango, and more. The EP explored his battle for his U.S. cit­izen­ship and reflects the real­it­ies of a glob­al artist who is ded­ic­ated to bridging dif­fer­ent cul­tures and com­munit­ies together.

Out­side of music, Anik has cre­ated an entre­pren­eur­i­al eco­sys­tem for him­self which includes being a part­ner in NYC’s crit­ic­ally acclaimed Kolk­ata Chai café and his “For­eign Affair” appar­el brand. He is also a fea­tured TEDx con­fer­ence, speak­ing about the power of cul­tur­al diversity in pop culture.

His work has been fea­tured in Bill­board, The Fader, NPR, VICE, For­bes, and more. Along with a Webby Award-win­ning doc­u­ment­ary, Anik is also a pub­lished author with his recent Pen­guin Ran­dom House book focus­ing on the first-gen­er­a­tion immig­rant experience.

Freek — Freek, is a Somali­an MC, rap­per, Dir­ect­or and record pro­du­cer from Dubai, United Arab Emir­ates. He is regarded as a key fig­ure in the con­cep­tion of Arab­ic drill rap music and often labelled the “God­fath­er” of the genre. He is con­sidered a pion­eer in the GCC under­ground music scene with a pro­lif­ic work rate and a dis­co­graphy of catchy hits such as ‘Wala Kil­ma’, ‘Aslan ‘adi”, and “Mush Fadi” which pro­pelled him in the inter­na­tion­al music scene. Freek has been nom­in­ated to com­pose a fea­ture song in the recent Adi­das mar­ket­ing cam­paign in March 2019 for non-oth­er than Europe’s top for­ward play­er, Mohammed Salah. He has been play­ing on the big stages around the UAE and has been con­sidered one of the biggest artists in the coun­try, with major fol­low­ing from the loc­al, region­al and inter­na­tion­al scene. Freek opened for Future, Gucci Mayne, Wu-Tang Clan, Stormzy and fin­ished his UK tour in Decem­ber 2019 with a sold out show in Lon­don. In 2022, Freek released his debut album “150” fea­tur­ing legendary artists from MENA and aboard.”

Felukah — The “neo soul artist bring­ing the Nile to New York,” Felukah’s voice is among the most dis­tinct and ver­sat­ile in con­tem­por­ary genre-bend­ing rap. The Egyp­tian artist moved to New York City in 2017 to study cre­at­ive writ­ing at The New School and CUN­Y’s Hunter Col­lege and dropped her first bilin­gual pro­ject, “Cit­adel” inde­pend­ently in 2019. Reg­u­larly code-switch­ing between Eng­lish and Arab­ic, Felukah con­nec­ted to indie label Abu Record­ings and worked closely with them to pro­duce and dis­trib­ute her debut album “Dream 23” in 2020. In 2021, Felukah released the Kawkab EP, which fea­tured her indie rock debut “Love on the Comedown” and marked the artist as one of ser­i­ous range. Around this time, Felukah also col­lab­or­ated with Palestini­an rap­per The Syn­aptik on “Nef­si” and “Allahy­a’teek.” Since then, Felukah entered a new era of music with major label Every­body Knows. Her col­lab­or­a­tion with Dounia in “Say Hi to My Demons” was released in May 2022 and listen­ers can expect a new single almost every month for the remainder of 2022. Felukah’s latest pro­ject “The Love Ser­um” is cur­rently being rolled out, with the latest release being an ode to women who empower one anoth­er and their soci­et­ies — “Lily­moth­er­su­per­flower”.

Tac: Who’s up next? Tac has been a top­ic of dis­cus­sion since he dropped his first record in 2018. The 24-year-old Egyp­tian made a name for him­self drop­ping hard­core hip hop free­styles on his ins­tagram, then coun­ter­ing that with RnB bangers on stream­ing plat­forms. The sheer range, vocal and lyr­ic­al abil­ity has allowed Tac to tap into vir­tu­ally any genre’s core fan­base effort­lessly. His under­stand­ing of the cul­ture as a hip-hop head and com­mand of music­al­ity and rhythm as a record pro­du­cer and song­writer has drawn the eyes and ears of estab­lished musi­cians from around the world, even trust­ing him with their sound as a writer, engin­eer and exec­ut­ive pro­du­cer. Tac is cur­rently work­ing on his first solo EP, and is pre­par­ing for a release early next year.

Talks and Partnerships:

Sole x SONRA

Sole DXB has teamed up with one of the sneak­er world’s OGs, Hikmet Sug­o­er, the man behind the Ber­lin-born, sus­tain­able sneak­er brand, SONRA, to pro­duce a highly lim­ited col­lec­tion of 100 leath­er sneak­ers, to mark the 10-year anniversary of Sole. The drop speaks volumes about Sole’s her­it­age and brings to life this year’s fest­iv­al theme, the Sole x SONRA drop has been inspired by the dis­tinct­ive col­our palette of Mar­rakesh — think pas­tels, sun­sets and the coun­try’s white-washed walls. The lim­ited edi­tion sneak­ers are sus­tain­ably made with mater­i­als that are exclus­ively sourced from Europe and everything from the soles to the laces can be replaced in detail, mak­ing SONRA sneak­ers long-last­ing com­pan­ions. Strictly lim­ited to 100 pairs.

Hikmet Sug­o­er said: “I am feel­ing hon­oured to be part of the 10-year anniversary of Sole DXB. Five years ago I released a col­our­way of my newly foun­ded (2016) brand SONRA at Sole DXB and it was a huge suc­cess. And now five years later we are hav­ing a pro­ject together.”

Look­book Images: Click Here — Pho­to­graphy by Farel Bisotto

Has­san Hajjaj’s Andy Wahloo

Moroc­can artist and Sole DXB’s 2022 fest­iv­al host, Has­san Haj­jaj will offi­cially launch his Andy Wahloo brand at this year’s event. Haj­jaj has embod­ied the festival’s theme of bring­ing the story home, lit­er­ally, with his first-ever appar­el col­lec­tion of t‑shirts, hood­ies, sweat­shirts, pants, leath­er jack­ets, varsity jack­ets, keyrings and accessor­ies, which have been inspired by the eccent­ric creative’s riad in Morocco. Fest­iv­al goers will get to exper­i­ence Hassan’s inspir­a­tion first-hand as his col­lec­tion will be housed in a remake of his very own Moroc­can riad.

Kappa x Sole DXB

Rid­ing on the wave of the Middle East’s world cup foot­ball frenzy, Sole has teamed up with Itali­an sportswear brand, Kappa, to cre­ate a lim­ited edi­tion foot­ball kit col­lec­tion that will fea­ture jer­seys, shorts, track­suits and socks. The line will exclus­ively be sold at Sole DXB and is also a nod to the festival’s first-ever com­munity foot­ball cup which will take place on-site through­out the weekend.

Sole DXB Merch x Jorja Smith

Inspired by icon­ic 90s-style vin­tage R&B and hip-hop t‑shirts, this year’s Sole DXB merch will be emblazoned with head­liner Jorja Smith and will be avail­able on-site only. With a lim­ited run of just 200 t‑shirts, this col­lec­tion is true Sole mem­or­ab­il­ia and a must-have for any Sole DXB fan to mark the festival’s 10th edi­tion. Guests will be able to watch their merch being pro­duced in real-time as live screen print­ing will be hos­ted at the venue.


Crocs will be present at Sole DXB with a large booth present­ing Salehe’s latest style and with cool per­son­al­iz­a­tion activ­a­tions for its fans. The space will be divided in two sec­tions; one ded­ic­ated to the launch of an exclus­ive col­our­way of the Salehe Col­lec­tion, and the oth­er one inten­ded to be a play­ful area where guests will be able to per­son­al­ise the icon­ic Clas­sic Clogs designed by a loc­al artist using the Crocs printer.

Fred Perry x RexChouk

Fred Perry presents a col­lab­or­a­tion between the Brit­ish brand and Saudi mul­ti­me­dia artist Rex­Chouk through a pop-up exper­i­ence at Sole DXB. The install­a­tion invites you to explore a par­al­lel uni­verse and ima­gine the future, teas­ing the concept of multi-plan­et­ary dia­spora. The part­ner­ship will also include a lim­ited-edi­tion Fred Perry Shirt col­lab­or­a­tion with Rex­Chouk, cel­eb­rat­ing the icon­ic Fred Perry Shirt. Each shirt design rep­res­ents an ele­ment from their Sole DXB pop-up exper­i­ence, titled “A New Life”. The cap­sule will launch exclus­ively at Sole DXB 2022.

The Giv­ing Movement

The Giv­ing Move­ment presents its Sole DXB pop-up as an inter­act­ive space bring­ing togeth­er street, com­munity, and sus­tain­ab­il­ity. The pop-up will kick off with a cap­sule col­lec­tion exclus­ive to Sole DXB and will fea­ture an excit­ing DJ line-up and a bar. This will be the char­it­able, Dubai-based brand’s very first appear­ance at Sole DXB — bring­ing one of the Middle East­’s best selling sus­tain­able streetwear labels to the centre of the com­munity. The space will be built with an eco-friendly approach: each ele­ment used will be repur­posed and used to extend its life­cycle and avoid end­ing up in landfills.

New Bal­ance

New Bal­ance will drop some of its latest col­labs and Made In The US col­lec­tions, includ­ing the much anti­cip­ated Made 990v6, Joe Fresh­goods 993, Salehe 990v2, Stone Island 574 and Bodega 9060.


1886 is the Saudi brand that brought streetwear in the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia for the first time. At Sole DXB, 1886 brings to its fans the Unity col­lec­tion, a cap­sule drop made exclus­ively for Qatar World Cup that is excep­tion­ally avail­able at Sole DXB. The term “unity” refers to the spir­it of the world cup where dif­fer­ent nations play togeth­er with fair play and mutu­al respect. Sim­il­arly, 1886 wants to emphas­ise its mis­sion to unite the young gen­er­a­tions in a com­munity where dif­fer­ences are elev­ated to build a free and peace­ful world.

Vir­gin Megastore Bookstore

Vir­gin Megastore Book­store will be pop­ping up at Sole DXB and it’s set to turn heads, bring­ing you not only their wide range of books but also an exper­i­ence of hero brand MONTANA Col­ors with their spray cans & mark­ers which is graf­fiti art focused.

Cof­fee table books will be their forte at Sole DXB; list­ing for the first time ever in the UAE Ice Cold A Hip-Hop Jew­elry His­tory by no oth­er than Vikki Tobak and She Kicks by Nav Gill all exclus­ively avail­able at the ven­ue. Let’s not for­get a few oth­er renowned titles like Vir­gil Abloh’s Fig­ures of Speech & Banksy Completed.

The Vir­gin Megastore Book­store will be invit­ing the authors to their premises through­out the week­end with tim­ings to be announced on their social media accounts so make sure to stay tuned. They can’t wait for you to take some time and embed your­self with­in the book cul­ture of hip-hop, art, con­tem­por­ary fash­ion & design while get­ting the chance to explore the vari­ations of sprays & mark­ers from MONTANA Col­ors through an inter­act­ive activ­ity all at The Vir­gin Megastore Book­store. You won’t even need to hassle your­self; same day deliv­ery for any pur­chase and they might throw in an exclus­ive pro­mo­tion to avail through­out the weekend.

Wild Arab West

Wild Arab West (WAW) launched in April 2020 by two Emiratis women, Hessa Ali Alechla & Iman Al Mid­fa, as a plat­form aimed at high­light­ing the fusion between East­ern & West­ern cul­tures through art, life­style & enter­tain­ment. WAW will be show­cas­ing their cre­at­ive fusion this year and they will be fea­tur­ing an exclus­ive merch drop just for Sole DXB!


Present­ing for the first time at SOLE DXB, the FRAME­WORK pro­ject is a brand new cre­at­ive concept by RAL7000STUDIO in part­ner­ship with XL EXTR­A­LIGHT® fea­tur­ing the innov­at­ive sus­tain­able blend ORGANIX 3.0, the first expan­ded poly­ol­efin based on organ­ic waste.

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.