Lebanese artist Nadim Karam creates commemorative sculpture at Port of Beirut
Craig David presents TS5
Who: Multi-talented British pop star from Southampton who shot to fame as a teenager. His debut album “Born to Do It”, released in 2000, was the best-selling debut album by a British male solo artist. His decline in popularity was just as rapid—helped in part by his becoming an object of ridicule on the TV show “Bo’ Selecta!” After a string of mediocre albums that sold less and less well, he seemed doomed to obscurity. However, now 40, David, singer-songwriter, DJ, rapper and producer, has regained much of the credibility he had lost. TS5 is an alter-ego that David first revealed in 2012 when he was a DJ at pre-parties he hosted in his Miami penthouse (TS5 is the apartment number). It has since morphed into a project that combines many of his passions – DJing, rapping, singing and occasionally performing with a live band. He has a new album due out this year.
Genre: R&B, dance pop.
Best known for: 1999’s ‘Re-Rewind’, a collaboration with Artful Dodger that became one of the most recognized UK garage tunes and helped bring garage music into the mainstream.
In his own words: “My songs are a time stamp for many people’s lives.”
Who: English singer-songwriter loved by people for whom Coldplay might be “a little pissed off.” The former soldier enjoyed a meteoric rise with his debut album, ‘Back to Bedlam’ in 2004, which sold over 11 million copies worldwide. He became a divisive figure – ridiculed by many for what they saw as bland, tasteless music better suited to background noise at fancy dinner parties, but defended by just as much for writing easy-listening classics. He is now hugely popular on social media for his self-deprecating humor, which has forced many to re-evaluate their opinion of him. Expect to hear many examples of his spirit on stage in Diriyah.
Genre: Pop rock.
Best known for: 2005’s “You’re Beautiful,” which seemed to be on constant rotation on radio stations around the world for the next 10 years.
In his own words: “Proof that one song is all you need.”
Who: Haitian rapper, multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, actor and three-time Grammy winner who first gained attention as a member of American alternative hip-hop group Fugees (along with his cousin Pras Michel and Lauryn Hill), whose second album, 1996’s “The Score” became one of the best-selling LPs of all time. When they parted ways, Jean went on to have a successful solo career, with 13 studio albums to her name and wildly popular collaborations with Mary J. Blige, Lil Wayne, Destiny’s Child and Shakira, among others. He also made headlines in 2010, when he announced his intention to run in the Haitian presidential elections. He was ultimately deemed ineligible because he had not been a resident for the required length of time.
Genre: Hip-hop, R&B, neo-soul.
Best known for: “Gone till November”, released in 1997, from his first solo album “The Carnival”. This earworm had orchestral accompaniment provided by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.
In his own words, “I would say the music resonates if you base your stories on real events.”
Two door cinema
Who: The leftmost selection of this year’s Diriyah E-Prix lineup, this Irish trio – frontman Alex Trimble, lead guitarist Sam Halliday and bassist and keyboardist Kevin Baird – are UK festival alumni who have formed while still in high school (as Life Without Rory) and recorded their self-recorded debut EP in 2008. “Four Words to Stand On” gained an online following (it wasn’t officially released until in 2018) and the group began to generate buzz through their concerts. Their debut studio album, “Tourist History”, showcased Two Door Cinema Club’s talent for blending catchy, angular indie-pop music with literary lyricism and earned comparisons with Editors, Bloc Party and Futureheads. After a not-quite-acrimonious breakup around 2014, when Trimble was, he said, “depressed and stressed out,” the band overcame their differences and continued to perform together.
Genres: Indie rock, post punk.
Best known for: “What You Know”, released in 2011 – the fifth single from “Tourist History”. It didn’t sell particularly well, but was picked up by Microsoft for online advertisements for Outlook.
In their own words: “There is a lot of very safe music out there. We wanted to have fun and do something really interesting.
Who: Another Irish trio (lead singer Danny O’Donoghue, lead guitarist Mark Sheehan and drummer Glen Power), The Script formed in 2007 and were soon signed to Sony’s Photogenic. Their self-titled debut album, released in 2008, spawned three hit singles and reached number one in Ireland and the UK (as did their next three albums). Their lighter wave radio anthems have been featured on numerous TV shows and The Script has sold over 20 million albums to date. Initially met with skepticism by rock fans (thanks in large part to the fact that O’Donoghue and Sheehan were once part of a boy band called Mytown), they have since gained respect (perhaps reluctantly at first) for their undeniably catchy songwriting (they wrote for Britney Spears and Boyz II Men, among others, before becoming famous) and musicianship.
Genre: Pop rock.
Best Known For: Their second single, the 2008 stadium anthem, “The Man Who Can’t Be Moved.” Or perhaps the 2010 stadium anthem that sings “Breeven,” their first American single, which sold over a million copies in the United States.
In their own words: “I think a lot of musicians would turn around and say, if you’re trying to (fit in), you’re wrong. Personally, I think they are idiots. If you’re not using the tools to make a great radio record, you’re not doing your job.