Progressive metal quartet Absolace rose to prominence with technically impressive 2010 debut LP Resolve[d], which has so far beaten sales of this year’s follow-up, Fractals.
The feisty Colombian rock chick’s 2010 debut, Confusion, picked up strong sales thanks to hit lead single ‘Out Of Control’, with a follow-up LP set for later this year.
The surprise hit of 2012 so far, the UAE’s ‘first live house band’ brought DJ Dion Mavath together with singer Clarita de Quiroz to create radio-friendly album These Words – the first local release to top UAE charts, released in May.
Bursting onto the scene last year, Nigerian-born R&B singer Hamman picked up notable sales with his polished eponymous debut.
South African ‘classical-fusion’ pianist Malika has sold stacks of her two CD releases, with 2007’s debut Monsoon Dew leading sales.
Instrumental jazz rarely picks up chart-worthy sales anywhere in the world, so Kamal Musallam deserves extra kudos. Fusing his Jordanian roots with Western sensibilities, he serves up spellbinding virtuoso pyrotechnics on guitar and oud. His bestseller is 2008’s Out of My City.
The overriding success of Nervecell is testament to the strength of the UAE’s thriving underground metal scene. Despite possessing a gloomy, apocalyptic sound that could in no way be described as commercial, the Dubai band continue to shift copies of their two albums, with 2008 debut Preaching Venom leading sales.
Commercial rock giants Juliana Down have outsold their closest competition by a long stretch to safely take a slot in the top three, thanks in large part to 2007 debut Cause and Affect, the UAE’s fourth best-selling record ever. While last year’s follow-up, Empires, is yet to achieve the same success, the Abu Dhabi rockers continue to pick up airplay and recently returned from a lucrative trip to LA.
Despite disbanding early last year, just weeks after being named Time Out Dubai’s Best Local Act, no other band has come close to the sales and recognition achieved by Dubai funk-rockers Abri, with second LP Blank Notes (2009) in the top three all-time UAE sellers. We’re also big fans of Emirati lead singer Hamdan Al Abri’s debut solo EP: download it for free at hamdan.bandcamp.com.
Wolf tops this list by a huge stretch, clocking in three times as many sales as his rivals. He may be Lebanon-born and Canada-based but, brought up in Dubai and signed to a local label, we’re happy to call him one of our own. Of his four UAE releases, 2007’s Bite the Bullet is the best seller, followed by 2009’s Nightlife.
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