Blank Space: One of few Open Mic events in the UAE

Blank Space is a Safe space that allows millennials to escape stress through self-expression. Founders Mohammad Hakam, 26 and Mathani Mohammed, 23 were inspired by Rooftop Rhythms, the first open mic session in the UAE. They felt they ought to provide a space where people of all ages can share and express their art. Founded August 2015, the platform can now attract more than 125 attendees and up to 25 performers per event, which is held in a different location every month. Previous shows have been held in locations such as Blu Cave, D3, Book Munch, Café Club, and Yellow Mellow.

Hosted by local musicians and returning favorites, Blank Space is a first-signed-up showcase of classic songs and compelling original creations. With a wealth of talent in the audience and a fun communal ambience, it is an inviting spot for acts to cut their teeth. The open mic event hosts talents ranging from musicians, poets, and vocalists to rappers, stand-up comedians, and spoken words. “Artist to artist connection is alive in that atmosphere” said Sohaib Alisses, a biomedical engineer and rapper. Sohaib has been performing for a year, attending almost every Blank Space event. Sohaib felt he needed a comfortable environment, where he can let go of daily struggles, and rap his original content. Other performers include Jamal Ehab, Nassir Mohammed, and AUD’s own Anahit Tshughuryah.

Anahit, a business management major at AUD, was a former The Voice, and X-Factor Armenia participant. “I learnt so much about my capabilities, and those TV shows helped me grow and flourish as a singer. An artist needs to pass on the emotions of a song. That is called artistry, and that is what I see when people perform on stage during every Blank Space event.” said Anahit. She also performs in AUD during events and country club celebrations. In addition to being a superstar, she also wants to open her own business or record company. “Blank Space is a great platform where the youth can express themselves artistically and creatively. I think we need a lot more support from people. The organizer is almost my age, and she just wants to create something truly great. I had a great time when I was on stage, and had a lot of support from the audience, friends, and family. When I got up on stage the vibes were amazing. There was so much positivity and so many good vibes.” said Anahit.

Also found at Blank Space sessions is Big Hass, the first Saudi based Hip Hop program host. “My Job is to support local talent” he tells local media. Big Hass has been spotted at more than one event, including a hip hop session in Safa park last month. He aims to hype up the audience and get them to interact with the talent. “it is called Blank Space because every person has one and we all gather to help each other fill the void” said Mathani Mohammed. Following the path of Rooftop Rhythms, which was founded in 2011, and now hosts more than 300 attendees, Mathani, and Hakam hope to give back to the community, and help talents grow.

As a platform that encourages amateurs to grow professionally and explore their artistic limits, Blank Space is one of UAE’s only open mic sessions that will hopefully promote self-expression and help people break through their comfort zone to share their art with the public. While it might not have the same lush ambience of some other venues, the sound system and the chill vibe, more than make up for it. As always, get there early. The doors open at 7:00 for signup with the music starting about an hour later. Join the next venue and expect a wide variety of styles and repertoires.


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