Music Publishing, Music rights middle east, Qatar, Lebanon, consultancy, collecting society, Egypt, Music Library, Composition services, PopArabia, Hussain Spek Yoosuf, Dream Warriors, twofour54, music
Spek, Founder / President
Beginning his career as a successful songwriter, recording artist and producer in his native Canada, Spek is a former member of Canadian hip hop pioneers, Dream Warriors; a group that sold over 1 million records worldwide and racked up Top 20 hits in Canada, the UK and across Europe. In the late 90’s he relocated to London where he toured extensively as a member of the UK’s multi-million selling jazz rap crew Us3 and collaborated with British virtuoso Nitin Sawhney on his Mercury Prize nominated and South Bank award winning album, ‘Beyond Skin’; An album that was highly touted in the UK press by both Sting and Madonna and GQ recently proclaimed was, “Among the greatest records of the 20th Century”. As a solo artist Spek released his album ‘Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff’ in 2001 with Q Magazine branding it ‘infuriatingly catchy and rather special’ and Loaded Magazine describing it as 'Like De La Soul and Prince in a mucky mudwrestle. Exceptional.’ Giving the album a 10 out of 10 review.
After years of working as a songwriter/ artist, Spek was appointed UK & European Representative by Anthem Music (formerly Ole Media Management) in 2005. Based out of London he sourced acquisitions and sought new business opportunities for the Canadian music publisher with over $100 million in initial financing. Throughout this period he signed signature deals with leading US animator DiC Entertainment, independent music publisher Bucks Music and he led the acquisition of global animation properties Benjamin Bear and Rollbots.
In late 2006, Spek relocated to the Middle East where he founded and launched Fairwood Music (Arabia), the first full service music publisher in the United Arab Emirates. Through this period the company represented Universal Music Publishing, EMI Music Publishing, Cherry Lane Music and Roy Orbison Music. In 2011 Spek launched PopArabia as a portfolio investment and in partnership with Abu Dhabi's, twofour54.
In 2015 Spek relocated to the U.S to lead creative strategy for New York based Reservoir. As SVP of Creative and A&R based out of New York he signed and oversaw talent at Reservoir including J.I.D, DVBBS, and Stone Temple Pilots’ Jeff Gutt. Throughout this period Reservoir earned a consistent Top 10 U.S. Market Share according to Billboard’s Publisher’s Quarterly report, was twice named Publisher of the Year at Music Business Worldwide’s The A&R Awards, and became the publishing home to top American songwriting talent including BMI Songwriter of the Year Ali Tamposi and Grammy-winner James Fauntleroy, among others.
Spek relocated back to the United Arab Emirates in 2019, announcing a new joint venture and partnership between Reservoir and PopArabia in early 2020. Returning to his post as President of PopArabia and leading Reservoir’s international and emerging markets strategy, PopArabia's activities now include the signing and development of local talent and export of Arabic and international music around the world, as both a publisher and label.
Spek holds an M.B.A from the University of Liverpool, with a specialization in International Business. He has been a music supervisor on numerous regional and international projects, including the Make A Wish TV series & Emirati feature films 'City of Life' & 'From A to B' (both directed by UAE Director Ali F. Mostafa) and he has composed music in numerous other advertising, television and film projects over the years. As a strong advocate for the development of a local music industry, he speaks regularly at international events on intellectual property and music industry matters.
Yvette Nhunhama, Synch Licensing Manager
Yvette studied Event Management and upon completing her studies, she has been working in customer facing roles. Most recently, Yvette worked for model agencies in Dubai where her role was to liaise with clients, including many brands and small to medium enterprises in the UAE, and talent. During this time, Yvette was assigned exclusive, high profile, projects due to her excellent communication skills and her genuine interest in people.
Sales and client care has always been at the core of every position which Yvette has undertaken. Yvette has undertaken such roles with a sense of pride and she always strives to provide an excellent service and put her clients’ needs first. Yvette is full of life and that comes out in her work and everything she does.
Her love for music led her to join the PopArabia team. She says, “Not only is music food for the soul, but it’s also a way for us to communicate without having to say much”. Yvette has made it her personal mission to represent PopArabia as a leading music publisher and rights consultancy in MENA, while ensuring that clients always get the best music for their productions and enjoy the benefits of working with reputable brands such as EMI and BMG.
Ray Ahmed, Business Development Lead
Ray Ahmed is a passionate music creator and business executive from Assam, India with a Masters in Global Entertainment and Music Business from Berklee College of Music. Starting his career as a guitar player, composer and sound designer, Ray has worked across numerous disciplines including contributing music to films, documentaries and live theatre. He later co-founded and assumed the role of Chief Sound Designer at RedCardinal Motion Pictures based out of Dibrugarh, Assam where he continued to work in film, music and advertising campaigns.
Relocating to the United Arab Emirates in 2020, Ray’s experience cuts across global markets. This includes developing and launching the Musaico Festival and handling licenses for Disrupción Records in Valencia, Spain, acting as a festival consultant for India’s Rocka Rolla Events and consulting for companies, artists, and music projects based out of India, Europe, Brazil, Canada and the United States over the years.