RESERVOIR & POPARABIA BOLSTER PRESENCE IN EGYPT WITH TWO NEW DEALS
The companies increase rights in Egyptian music with the acquisitions of RE Media and El Sawareekh catalogs
Reservoir Media, Inc. (NASDAG: RSVR), an award-winning independent music company, in conjunction with PopArabia, the leading music publisher and independent music company in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), announced two new deals, expanding the Companies’ share of Arabic music. The deals include the catalog acquisition of Cairo-based content production and distribution company RE Media, including the Company’s over 6,000 recordings and compositions. Reservoir and PopArabia additionally announced the acquisition of master and publishing rights for the catalog of Egyptian rap duo, El Sawareekh.
Founded in 2004 by Richard Elhaj, RE Media is an Arabic content production and distribution company based in Cairo, Egypt. The company owns a catalog of 6,000 recordings, representing a diverse mix of Egyptian music spanning the past 30 years and featuring songs by legendary artists like Amr Diab, George Wassouf, Dalida, Mohamed Mounir, and more. The deal with PopArabia and Reservoir includes the acquisition of Egyptian icon, Amr Diab’s classic debut album Ya Tareeq; Diab remains one of the most streamed Arab artists in the world. The addition of RE Media’s catalog also includes sub-labels Moseeqa and Moseeqa TV, as well as the acquisition of several of RE Media’s owned and operated YouTube channels, which collectively boast one million subscribers. As part of the deal, PopArabia will convert these YouTube channels to its own YouTube hub.
Elhaj commented, “I am very proud to have struck an arrangement with PopArabia for the acquisition of some of our catalog, and I foresee a long-term relationship with them and with Reservoir. I am also excited about the governance PopArabia is bringing to the Middle East, maximizing the economic potential of music assets and creating a lawful ecosystem to build on for the future.”
Comprised of Ahmed Abdelhamed (professionally known as Dokdok) and Bassem Mohamed (professionally known as Fanky), El Sawareekh have earned a following as forerunners for the development of the Mahraganat genre. Popular with youth across MENA, Mahraganat emerged in 2011 and mixes Arabic rap with electronic music and traditional Egyptian rhythms. El Sawareekh have grown a massive fan base since their debut album in 2014 with the release of their breakout hit “Laa” in 2017. To date, “Laa” has garnered over 100 million views on YouTube. Notably, Reservoir and PopArabia initially acquired rights to “Laa” through the 2022 acquisition of Egyptian label 100COPIES, and the companies’ share of the duo’s catalog has grown with the addition of their latest works. Their catalog includes other self-released hit tracks like “Eda Eda,” “Albk Bahr Maleh,” and “Ekhwaty” with over 66 million, 180 million, and 414 million YouTube views, respectively. In 2021, El Sawareekh were highlighted on Forbes’ list of the Middle East’s Arab Music Stars.
On the deal, El Sawareekh said, “We are excited to continue our relationship with Reservoir and PopArabia. We look forward to the companies’ support as we continue to show the world what we can do.”
The two deals further Reservoir and PopArabia’s efforts to contribute to growth within the region, supported by twofour54, Abu Dhabi’s media zone that is home to the region’s entertainment industry. Spek, PopArabia Founder and Chief Executive Officer/Reservoir Executive Vice President of International and Emerging Markets, commented, “Egyptian artists are a driving force in Arabic popular music, and it is gratifying to see Reservoir and PopArabia continue to solidify our presence in MENA through the acquisition of these important catalogs.” He added, “El Sawareekh have created some of the country’s most memorable hits of this era, and RE Media represents an important spread of Egyptian repertoire. Each of these deals is an important step in our ongoing efforts to expand our leadership in the Arabic music space.”