December 6 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Friday, September 13, 2013
A Norwich man has spoken of his delight after reaching the final of a major Middle Eastern music competition for the chance to be mentored by record label Sony Music.
Craig Perry, 29, will be one of only three finalists out of 2,000 entrants battling it out in the grand final of the Rolling Stone Street to Stage contest, which will be held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Dubai on September 20 and he is calling for people to vote for him on social media sites.
The former Sprowston High School pupil, who cites his musical influences as Damien Rice, David Gray and Ben Howard, had to write four or five new songs in each week of the competition as the criteria for entry was that all material would be original and not copied from other artists as the aim was to unearth the best unsigned musician.
The contest is based in the Middle East and has featured contestants from across the region, which has made the competition fierce.
Mr Perry, who studied music at university in Scarborough, left Norwich five years ago to pursue a career in marketing and he is currently based in Dubai where he works at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
He said he had also recorded videos to go with his songs using a camcorder and had received support from studios in the area as Dubai’s music scene, although small, is growing, especially among the ex-pat community.
He added Arabic music had a strong cultural influence, though the local population was only 15pc of the total, with the majority being immigrant workers from abroad, especially India.
“It is an amazing experience to reach the final as I am used to playing in front of family and friends. To actually enter and get through to the final was a very emotional experience,” he said.
To support Mr Perry, visit www.facebook.com/CraigPerryMusic, www.twitter.com/CraigPerryMusic, www.youtube.com/CraigPerryMusic.