Strategy Bites: Nouf Sufyani, aka Cosmicat, DJ And Music Producer
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Strategy Bites is a series of interviews that LIRA Strategy Partners founder and Managing Director Raffaella Campagnoli is conducting with some of Saudi Arabia’s most notable business executives for Entrepreneur.com. In this edition, she talks to Saudi Arabian DJ and music producer, Nouf Sufyani, better known as Cosmicat.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what you do.
I am a 29-year-old DJ and music producer, absolutely selfmade- I know what I know now, because I’ve been driven by curiosity and passion, and whatever I’ve developed so far has been a result of experimentation and, most importantly, online research. We didn’t have any music school until recently in Saudi Arabia, and so, my journey has been all about learning how to turn into a full-time musician and produce music on my own. On top of my music production, I also run a radio show called Spaceship, transmitted on MDLBeast Freqways, and I do occasional collaborations with local fashion brands or interesting international brands that have the same goal I have in terms of empowering youth and especially women. Thanks to the new direction that Saudi Arabia has taken recently towards arts, music, and support to youth, this is a great opportunity that is opening up a lot of new spaces for people like me.
How are you embracing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030?
The entire movement for change in Saudi Arabia started in 2019, ever since we had the chance to be in touch with musicians, which allowed us to present talents in different ways, and also to interact a lot with each other. The dream I had for myself materialized by my participation in MDLBeast’s flagship event, which extended beyond the music festival itself, as it was supporting talents like me, expressing ourselves in a pure and open way. It had 400,000 people participating in the event happening across three days; it was a really incredible and unique event. Vision 2030 is thus about opening up the world to Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia to the world, and I feel lucky to be living this moment. I feel very optimistic and confident that this is going to be the beginning of a much greater movement that will make Saudi Arabia eventually one of the main global centers for arts and music in the world.
What are some of the key changes you are personally seeing in the Kingdom today?
I have a lot of female friends, lots of whom are DJs like me. They have felt supported and inspired by other female artists, just like I did; I actually started DJing thanks to this great friend of mine, who excited me so much with music but didn’t dare to get on the spot like I did. This is reminding me of the past, where people didn’t dare to approach their passions and their desired careers for being kind of different, or perhaps even considered outliers. I was a dentist some years ago, spending my 9-to-5 job in a very common way, and I was happy with that. So, I didn’t really think about what would happen if I stopped being a dentist- I just felt like doing it, and the time felt right, and I made the change. It was a courageous choice, driven by passion, and now I really feel energized and positive. I am feeling great vibes about my choice. I am working on a lot of releases, and I am working on a lot of new projects. SoundCloud, Spotify, Instagram, Facebook: those are some of the channels and platforms I use for distributing my music. You know, the best track I am working with now has got 11,400 number of plays within a month- my highest record has been 25,600 plays!
What excites you about the future of Saudi Arabia?
My hope is that nothing is going to change back to the way it was. I live in Jeddah, which is now a completely different city than what it was three years ago. I want to continue doing what I am doing with music, as I feel this is right, and this is where I am supposed to be– my real calling. And that’s my message for other women in Saudi Arabia: I would tell them to always remember that each and everyone of us is strong and capable to achieve whatever it is we dream of. We’re now in the right environment to realize all of our hopes and ambitions- keep on being persistent, never be intimidated, and dare. Now is the right time!