Sound Sauce – Unleashing MENA’s Sonic Revolution

Nirvana Bebars, co-founder of Sound Sauce, talks to us about how she’s empowering the Arab World's music scene.

Sound Sauce – Unleashing MENA’s Sonic Revolution
Dana Oraibi

 Sound Sauce (Instagram), the first sound stock and synch website in MENA connects artists, filmmakers, and brands in a vibrant symphony to help spark regional creativity.

In a world brimming with limitless creative potential, Sound Sauce is emerging as a true force of innovation, connecting MENA’s music producers, artists, filmmakers, and brands in an electrifying union. In a one-on-one catch up with the co-founder of this groundbreaking platform, Nirvana Bebars, YUNG got a glimpse of the extraordinary journey and origins of Sound Sauce, a vibrant force that seeks to transform the Arab world’s music scene, and the unparalleled triumphs won and challenges faced by a woman leading the charge in the dynamic tech industry.

Sound Sauce, the result of a mission to shatter the limitations faced by filmmakers and content creators, has bloomed into the MENA region’s first-ever sound stock and sync website. With a mission to transcend boundaries and stereotypes, Nirvana Bebars and co-founder Muhammed Gamal Eldin embarked on an ambitious quest to unleash the true potential of MENA’s immense talent.

Sound Sauce

Tell us a little bit about how Sound Sauce started, what inspired you to keep going until the platform came to light?

The idea of SS came from my co-founder Muhammed Gamal Eldin while we were trying to solve a problem many filmmakers face. With the limited Arabic/Oriental/MENA music libraries available on sound stock websites, filmmakers and content creators are stuck with a stereotypical representation of the Middle Eastern and North African sound. We noticed a gap in the market that affects all creatives and made it our mission to bridge it. As a region we have so much talent and potential that is not used, yet could be. The real inspiration comes from our drive to amplify our sound globally. We have so much potential; we just haven’t crossed over yet.

How will Sound Sauce contribute to the growth and recognition of artists in the Arab world, how will it help emerging talents gain exposure?

We aim to contribute to the building of a healthy infrastructure and ecosystem for the industry in the region. We are betting on the many young artists and producers across the region who are unable to showcase their talent, these are our people. We are merely connecting the dots. With a strong local, regional, and global network we can market and communicate strategically the talents on SS to the correct audience. There is a high demand for the MENA sound, we’ve seen it through samples in the biggest global hits, we’ve seen it in Hollywood movies, we’ve seen it in the gaming scene, even on the fashion runways. As long as there is demand, we will be able to provide the supply.

Sound Sauce

Collaboration is at the core of Sound Sauce’s ethos. What unique elements do you bring to the table that set you apart from other platforms?

We are the first and only platform amplifying the MENA sound. We want to give the region a global stage, global opportunities, and a true crossover. On Sound Sauce, content creators, video creators, film makers, production houses, and brands will be able to license sound stock music, ambient sounds and select music catalogues from record labels and publishers.

The Arab world’s music scene is evolving rapidly, with new genres and sounds emerging. How will Sound Sauce adapt to the changes and support artists exploring different styles while staying in line with its core vision?

Music will always be at the core of SS. With the fast-paced world we live in, the adaptability aspect is of the utmost importance. To be able to support artists demands our head of product, and COO, Karim Bebars, is using agile software development for our website, which is a methodology that focuses on flexibility, collaboration, and efficiency. We want to be able to adapt to change easily and to be able to connect with the demands of our artists and filmmakers equally, while providing an experience that feels simple and familiar.

Sound Sauce

Sound Sauce has undoubtedly opened doors for artists, but what about the filmmakers and brands involved in the collaborations? How will the platform benefit them, and what opportunities does it offer in terms of exposure and expanding their creative networks?

For the first time filmmakers, editors and brands will be able to browse an all-Arabic music library, with different genres, moods and beats as opposed to the current stereotypical libraries. They will also be able to engage with a community of artists and producers to refine what they need for their work.

If Sound Sauce was a music genre, what would it sound like?

It wouldn’t be one genre. It would be a fusion of all the sounds we hear in our daily lives. Starting from the taxi driver honking in the street, to the adhan calling to friends cruising in their cars playing classic pop hits. Sound Sauce would be a folk hymn, a shaabi rhythm, a dynamic melody. It would have rabab and oud in the mix, tabla and riq, nay and cymbals. It would encompass the diversity of the region.

Sound Sauce

If Sound Sauce organized a massive music festival, what would be the dream lineup? Which artists, both established and emerging, would you love to see perform together on the Sound Sauce stage?

Sound Sauce is built on community, on young talent, on emerging artists. A “saucy” festival would mainly shed the light on the young talented artists with the support of established ones of course.

As a female founder in the male-dominated tech industry, what unique perspectives and experiences did you bring to the development and growth of Sound Sauce? Did you face any challenges as a woman?

I think women bring unique perspective, experiences, and skills to the game. Some of the areas where women excel are communication, collaboration and empathy, which are key for the music industry and the tech industry. Probably the biggest challenge I face is being the only woman in the room, which can really make you feel isolated sometimes. However, I’m truly lucky to have a solid support system and can be part of an incredible team.

Representation matters, especially in leadership positions. How do you personally inspire and empower other women within the Sound Sauce community to pursue their passions and overcome any gender-related barriers they might face?

It’s so important to develop a support system. It’s important to choose the people you will let into your daily life. You also have to learn how to advocate for yourself, to speak up, find allies, but most of all you have to be able to learn and teach others. A lot of women are not confident or underestimate their skills, we should always push and encourage women in any leadership position.


What advice do you have for other aspiring female entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in their respective industries?

I recently heard someone say, “Gatekeepers don’t exist anymore,” and I loved that. The advice I would give would be to start, oftentimes people don’t get anywhere because they spend too much time planning, and they get scared to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re not ready, no one ever is. Work hard, be consistent, and be a beast.

Sound Sauce

What are some of the upcoming initiatives or projects that Sound Sauce has in store? How do you envision the platform evolving in the future to further empower artists and creatives in the Arab world?

We aim to be a one stop shop for everything music related. We want to make it easy for record labels and publishers to reach a larger customer base for synch. We also want artists and producers to be able to monetize their creations and get more recognition. And mostly, we want filmmakers and brands to be able to surf a library where they can find their exact needs; fast, reliable, and updated.

Do you have any exclusive news for YUNG’s readers?

We are going live in October – the countdown is ON.


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