"The Beginning" chosen as official theme song for HIA.

Hamad International Airport (HIA) has hosted an Airport Stakeholders Appreciation Dinner this week to commemorate all airport partners and stakeholders who have been part of Qatar’s award-winning airport, which completed two years of operations last month.
HE the Minister of Transport and Communications Jassim Seif Ahmed al-Sulaiti attended the event to present airport stakeholders and partners with appreciation certificates on behalf of HIA.
HIA staff and representatives from a number of airport stakeholders were present at the event, including representatives of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Qatar Civil Aviation Authority, Qatar Tourism Authority, Qatar Museums, Ministry of Interior, Airport Immigration, General Authority of Customs, CID, Qatar Airways, Qatar Duty Free and Qatar Airways Cargo.
Al-Sulaiti said: “Hamad International Airport has achieved tremendous success since its opening and has made the country proud as the gateway into Qatar and to the rest of the world. I am happy the airport has organised this appreciation event to recognise all their partners who have played an integral role in the airport’s success.” 
Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said: “Hamad International Airport is a major part of the Qatar Airways group. In a short period of time, the Qatar Airways hub became one of the main airports in the region and across the world, and a destination by itself. We extend our special thanks to the Ministry of Transport, all partners and stakeholders for presenting this good image of Qatar, and we look forward to more achievements.”
Badr Mohamed al-Meer, chief operating officer of HIA, said: “It is our honour to work alongside partners who have made our growth and success possible.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our airport stakeholders for their tireless efforts and constant support. We are proud and grateful for all that we have accomplished together - but this is only the beginning. We will reach greater heights together.”
HIA’s official theme music, ‘The Beginning’, was also exclusively revealed to guests. The music has been composed by Dana Alfardan, founder and CEO of DNA Records, an independent music label based in Doha and London.
The musical piece was performed by Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra in front of the iconic Lamp Bear at HIA and beside the airport runway, and guests at the dinner became the first to view the new video.
HIA has been acknowledged as the “Best Airport in the Middle East” by the Skytrax World Airport Awards for 2015 and 2016, and is also the first in the Middle East to enter the world’s top 10 best airports in the Skytrax World Airport Ranking.

Music of Dana Alfardan live at Cadogan Hall in London

Guy Manoukian - Live in Concert

Featuring the music of Dana Al Fardan performed by artists from the Peace and Prosperity Trust. 

A Night of Oriental & Western Fusion Music.

Back by popular demand, the British Lebanese Association is proud to present Guy Manoukian live in concert performing his greatest and a selection of new hits. The opening of the evening features the music of Dana Al Fardan, for the first time in London, performed by artists from the Peace and Prosperity Trust.

New single "We are the Light" in collaboration with DJ Juan Pestana & Guests from Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

Dana Alfardan, founder and CEO of DNA Records, Qatar’s first record label, has confirmed her latest signing of celebrity DJ and producer, Juan Pestana, launched at an exclusive media event at Antica Pesa on April 28th, 2016. Juan’s debut performance, the DNA Records Take Over Event will also be hosted at The St. Regis Hotel, the finest address in Qatar. Juan Pestana and DNA Records will also be releasing Juan’s highly anticipated debut single, We are The Light, at the media event.

The rising Portuguese producer who grew up on the island of Madeira and also has Venezuelan heritage, has had a deep love and passion for music from a young age, as Juan started playing the piano when he was just six years old after his older sister received it as a birthday gift, but she wasn’t too interested in playing it. Over the years, Juan built his first home studio where he spent countless hours playing songs that he heard on the radio, recording them and then mixing them, heavily influenced by electronic music that had started to sweep the world’s airwaves in the early 90’s.

As a self-taught musician, Juan invested a lot of time in honing his musical talent by forming his own band at 14, learning to play and perform music across a wide range of musical genres including rock, pop and Latino, and then touring with his band across Portugal and Europe, as he simply loved the feeling of playing live music in front of a crowd of people.

Following his move to Doha, Qatar in 2012, Juan has been busy expanding his musical abilities as he now also plays the bass guitar, drums and percussion. During this time, Juan has also spent a lot of time in the studio mixing music and working on his singles, including We Are The Light, written by Dana Alfardan, an engrossing and exhilarating debut which features a combination of exquisite cello played by renowned Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) cellist Kiki Schmitz. Juan’s other singles include These Are The Best Times and The Sun Will Rise, with both melodic and easy going house tracks poised to be the summer anthems of 2016, will also be played live for the first time during The Rooftop event.

Commenting ahead of his Doha debut, Juan Pestana said: “I really love all kinds of music and I think that a lot of diversity as a musician is incredibly important. I’m really proud of everything that I have accomplished to date, especially with We Are The Light, and thanks to the ongoing support of Dana and DNA Records. With Dana’s continued encouragement and the foundation of DNA Records we have been able to create a unique sound that people are responding well to, and I’m pleased to say that Dana is constantly at the forefront of music in Qatar.”

Speaking about the signing of Juan Pestana to DNA Records, Dana Alfardan, CEO of DNA Records, said: “As soon as I met Juan and I had the chance to hear his sound, I believed in him as an artist and saw what he was capable of. DNA Records is proud to be supporting and nurturing local talent in Qatar, and it is also a testament to the fact that music is continuing to grow in Qatar and that it is becoming increasingly a part of our culture, and that is a beautiful thing.”

Juan’s music style is varied covering different musical genres and periods, as he has been influenced by a number of incredibly unique musicians such as German producer Stefan Baucig. Meanwhile, Juan’s amazing ability to arrange and produce music, as well as his lively performance style which includes a live performance on the keyboard, live mixing and live collaborations with other artists including vocalists Judi Jackson, and instruments such as Cellist Kiko Schmitz and Violinist Dimitri Torchinsky, ensure an electrifying performance from Juan every single time.

Following on from last year’s successes for DNA Records, which included a song written by Dana, This Is Your Life, incorporated on international superstar, Grammy nominated, DJ Robin Schulz’s latest album, Sugar, 2016 is tipped to be a huge year for DNA Records and Juan Pestana, as fans can expect to hear a lot more over the coming months. 

In 2015, Dana launched DNA Records, a homegrown record label, to serve as a long term and sustainable platform, as well as to support local and international artists, providing them with the right tools and knowledge to turn their dreams into reality. DNA Records currently operates over an international space working with recording studios in London as well as private recording studio in Qatar, as the label’s artists continue to benefit from a cultural exchange.

Music of Dana Alfardan performed at Anima Gallery.

Dana Alfardan, leading Qatari composer and songwriter, debuted her latest album, Sandstorm, performed by The Doha String Quartet & Friends featuring MAias Alyamani, esteemed solo violinist, on Monday evening at Anima Gallery, The Pearl, Qatar. All eleven songs from the Sandstorm Album have been composed by Dana Alfardan, who along with being a songwriter and composer is also the CEO of DNA Records, the first Qatari record label. The impressive musical showcase included all eleven songs from Sandstorm, which included three never before heard tracks, The Beginning, Tango Swing along with Luster featuring MAias Alyamani. 

Standout tracks on the album include Pride of a Nation, a musical tribute to Qatar which is a great source of pride for Dana; as well as Music Box, inspired by the magical, haunting and nostalgic quality of music boxes; this piece captures both the simplicity and purity of that sound. These along with Spirit Of Thunder, a song capturing the emotional storm before the calm, the piece is characterised by light, hope and growth, and Layla, Dana Alfardan’s musical ode to her daughter which she says is her greatest inspiration, are key pieces on Sandstorm.  

Speaking during the evening, Dana Alfardan, Qatari composer and songwriter, said: “Sandstorm is a very personal album with every single one of the songs being of significance to me. I am thrilled with the results and the overwhelmingly positive reaction from this evening’s audience, and am delighted to have the long standing support of The Doha String Quartet & Friends who performed Sandstorm, truly bringing the album to life.” 

"This Is Your Life" - A collaboration with Robin Schulz on his latest album "Sugar".

DNA Records collaboration track with Grammy nominee Robin Schulz launched by Warner Music

Qatar-created ‘This is Your Life’ to reach millions worldwide

On 25 September, ‘This is Your Life’, a collaboration track by Doha and London-based DNA Records with celebrated international DJ Robin Schulz, was released by Warner Music on Schulz’s new album Sugar.

The German electronic producer and DJ is famous for his past work with hip-hopartist Mr Probz, singer-songwriter Jasmine Thompson and band Lilly Wood and thePrick. Schulz produced 2014’s hits ‘Waves’ and ‘Prayer in C’ and his 2015 single

‘Sugar’ from the new album is already a number-one hit in Austria and Germany,where the 2014 album Prayer sold more than 100,000 copies last year.It’s all good news for Qatar’s budding music industry.

‘This is Your Life’ was written by Dana Al Fardan, well-known Qatari songwriter andfounder of the independent music label DNA Records. It also features vocals by Hayley Tizzard, a British teacher in Doha who performs professionally and was selected despite other big-name singers being linked with the track.

Adding another local element to the mix, ‘This is Your Life’ was recorded at Doha’sKatara studios, recently constructed in collaboration with leading UK recording studio Metropolis. With the mounting costs of recording-studio time coming in typically between QAR400 and QAR500 per hour, musicians internationally may well be looking with interest at the advantages of using Qatar’s new, state-of- the-art resources. If Sugar does well, that interest can only increase.

DNA Records offers an inspiring example of how Qatar’s nascent music scene is developing both the talent and the resources to grow. Al Fardan’s manager Will Gresford got the ball rolling for the Schulz/Al Fardan collaboration by sending some of the Qatari songwriter’s work to Shulz last year, around the time when the German DJ’s up-tempo remix of ‘Waves’ by Dutch hip-hop artist Mr Probz shot up the charts to take the number one slot for two weeks on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs List.

Qatar will certainly see a huge benefit to its musical ambitions if there is a Schulz/Al Fardan hit. Assuming Sugar builds on the popularity of Schulz’s previous album Prayer, which was awarded Gold status by the German music industry, ‘This is Your Life’ could sell in the hundreds of thousands and potentially reach millions worldwide.

Music lovers reading this will be pleased to know that DNA Records are working on a series of concerts for the end of this year and early next year, in addition to a much anticipated debut album launch in summer 2016 by DNA Records singer-songwriter

Ryan O'Reilly. The album comes hot on the heels of a string of European tours, including a December collaboration with British singer Lizzy Pattinson.

Stay posted through their updates. Meanwhile ‘This is Your Life’ and Sugar are on sale in music stores and available for download online.

LAYLA: MUSIC OF DANA AL FARDAN

LAYLA: MUSIC OF DANA AL FARDAN

Layla: Musics of Dana Al Fardan performed live with the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra.

Andy Brown: Conductor

Daisy Chute and Lizzy Pattinson: Vocals

Brodie Tunui: Backing Vocals 

Tim Buxter: Musical Director and Orchestral Arranger

Jessica Dannheisser: Orchestrator and Additional Arrangement 

PAINT BY DANA AL FARDAN

Dana launched her debut album, PAINT, at an exclusive party held at the Sheraton Hotel Doha.

The album, PAINT, will be released for the first time in Qatar and across the globe through Viva Records and will be available in Qatar from 20 November 2013 in Virgin Records. The free single, Confined, from the album, is available a danasounds.com.