Music Briefs: Arabic Pop


Arabic pop, commonly referred to as “Arab pop” or “Middle Eastern pop,” is a contemporary music style that combines Western pop music with traditional Arabic music. It first appeared in the middle of the 20th century and has since become one of the most popular and influential musical styles in the Arab world.


Arabic Pop History

The 1950s and 1960s saw the emergence of Arabic pop music as Arab musicians began fusing aspects of Western music with classical Arabic music. The first Arab pop song is believed to be “Enta Omri,” which was released in 1964 by the legendary Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.

In the following decades, it continued to evolve and expand into what we are more familiar to hearing today. Here are some of the major influencers.


70s and 80s – Egyptian Pop

During the 1970s and 1980s, Egypt significantly contributed to the rise of this genre. Egyptian artists like Abdel Halim Hafez, Umm Kulthum, and Mohamed Abdel Wahab gained immense popularity across the Arab world and beyond. .

80s and 90s – Lebanese Influence on Arabic Music

Lebanese pop musicians like Fairouz, Wadih El Safi, and Sabah made a vital contribution to the development of Arab popular music in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period, Lebanon developed into a hub of culture and a center for music production in the Arab world, and its musicians significantly influenced the sound of modern Arabic pop.

The 90s to Present – Contemporary Arab Pop

Arabic pop musicians have continued experimenting with combining different genres and varying their techniques in the new millennium. Contemporary Arabic popular songs now frequently incorporate elements of Latin music, hip-hop, and electronic dance music (EDM), resulting in a vibrant and avant-garde musical environment.

During this time, Tamer Hosny, Nancy Ajram, and Amr Diab rose to prominence and the world started to recognize their contributions to Arabic pop.

Social media like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube and online music platforms like Spotify have revolutionized how Arabic pop music is consumed and distributed. Arabic pop remains a prominent and influential genre in the Arab world and continues to gain popularity worldwide.


Genre Characteristics

Traditional Arabic instruments:  Arabic pop often combines the oud, darbuka, and qanun with contemporary instruments like electric guitars and synthesizers in the music tracks.

Melodic vocals: Artists frequently display their vocal prowess in lively and emotional ballads and Arabic pop vocals are commonly defined by rhythmic and expressive singing techniques.

Unique rhythmic patterns: The genre has a variety of rhythmic patterns with occasional influence by Middle Eastern folk music and local dancing forms.

Arab lyrics: Arabic pop touches on various subjects, such as love, romance, social issues, and daily life. The words can be in standard Arabic or dialects specific to different Arab countries.

Influence from Other Genres:  Musicians may adopt aspects from other genres, such as Latin music, electronic dance music, and hip-hop.


Pond5 Examples of Arabic Pop

Find inspiration in these tracks dedicated to the genre and deep dive into the genre.

Arabic pop - Modern Arabic Loop

Arabic Pop - Arabic Style Pop Holiday East


Submission ideas

  • Submit tracks in length between 2 and 7 minutes long.
  • The tempo should be between 100 and 140 BPM.
  • Use traditional Arabic instruments like the oud, darbuka, and qanun. In some tracks, a violin is incorporated.
  • Arabic lyrics are an advantage but optional – don’t limit yourself by them, and feel free to upload purely instrumental tracks.
  • Don’t forget to experiment with different genres.



  • Take advantage of the 50-keyword limit and add both broad and specific keywords. Please do not use a recognizable band or artist name!
  • We also encourage you to submit separate :15 and :30 versions of these tracks for social media use.
  • Don’t forget to add ARABICPOPP5BRIEF among your keywords so we can track down and promote your content.
  • Please note you can apply tags to existing tracks in your portfolio.

Top image: Egypt Music – Jun 2011 by EPA_Image.

Get more inspiration for your music production in our other Music Briefs.