Yung Selects: Echoes from MENA’s Underbelly with Tarek El Mendelek

Music industry insider Tarek El Mendelek orchestrates an ode to the overlooked

Yung Selects: Echoes from MENA’s Underbelly with Tarek El Mendelek
Menna Shanab

This week’s Yung Selects highlights a curated array of promising talents from the MENA region, handpicked by Tarek El Mendelek (Instagram), a seasoned music industry expert, artist manager and the guiding hand behind label and artist partnerships at TikTok for the MENA region.

El Mendelek, an alumnus of the University of California, Los Angeles, has navigated the intricate maze of the music industry with precision and discernment. His tenure at Grass Fed Music, working closely with artists such as alt-pop artist Gavin Haley, Dancehall/Hip-hop producer KRS, the multi-faceted Offrami, and a slew of other independent songwriters and producers, has been instrumental in shaping his eclectic musical palate.

Tarek el Mendelek

Underneath his accomplishments lies a driving principle: to uplift uncelebrated artists, providing them with the necessary tools and platforms to reach the apex of their potential. It is this commitment to the cause that paints the canvas of his selection for this edition of Yung Selects.

El Mendelek’s approach to curation is simple yet powerful, “Through this selection, I wanted to highlight a few underdogs from across our region making beautiful music that deserves to be heard on a global scale,” he explains. His work, rooted in a deep passion for music and artist growth, is about more than just exposure. “Through everything I do, my mission is to empower artists in order for them to grow, reach new heights, and build engaged fanbases,” he added. This passion and his advocacy for the underdogs of the industry are clearly reflected in his carefully curated list for this edition of Yung Selects.

In El Mendelek’s concert of the overlooked, the opening act is Zeyne with “Mish Asfaneh,” a sonic landscape teeming with raw emotion. The tempo accelerates with the rhythmic hues of “Everlasting Dance” by LLUNR, only to descend into a contemplative state with “Ugh, Feelings” by Albader.

If the sounds chosen by Tarek El Mendelek have your ears twitching, check out our music coverage, here.