Untitled design (23)
Hussain ‘Spek’ Yoosuf
Chief Executive Officer
Untitled design (10)
Iain Kemplay
Head of Licensing
Untitled design (11)
Michael Battiston
Ceasar M Apostol
Data and Distribution Manager
Untitled design (4)
Consuelo Sayago
Untitled design (48)
Saqer Al Qassimi
Head of Business Development and Government Relations
Cynthia John
Legal & Business Affairs Manager

We have history in the region

ESMAA is a subsidiary of PopArabia, the leading music publisher and music rights company in the MENA for over a decade.


Over the years PopArabia has represented all the major music publishers, with current marketshare of global repertoire estimated at 60%.In addition ESMAA represents global PRO’s including PRS, SESAC SOCAN, SACM, AMRA, FILSCAP, IMRO, the rights of the Harry Fox Agency and record labels including Chrysalis, Global Master Rights, Double Six Music, Premier Muzik and more.


Well respected and well connected with government entities, music owners and creators alike, ESMAA has worked with entities as diverse as DubaiEXPO, MDL Beast’s Soundstorm and XP Music Conference in Saudi Arabia, and numerous public events, spaces and retail centers by EMAAR, Nakheel, Dubai Festival City and more.


Have a question? Get in touch


twofour54, Yas Creative Hub

Yas Island, Office #119, Podium Level 1

P.O. Box 769891

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


Founder & CEO

Billboard international power player for the years 2021 and 2022, Spek began his career as a successful songwriter, recording artist and producer in his native Canada. Spek is a former member of the Juno Award winning (Canadian Grammy Equivalent), Canadian hip hop pioneers, Dream Warriors, a group that sold over 1 million records worldwide and racked up Top 20 hits in Canada, the UK and across Europe. In the late 90’s he relocated to London where he toured extensively as a member of the UK’s multi-million selling jazz rap crew Us3 and collaborated with British virtuoso Nitin Sawhney on his Mercury Prize nominated and South Bank award winning album Beyond Skin; An album that was highly touted by the UK press and other artists, including Sting and Madonna, with GQ India recently proclaiming it to be, “among the greatest records of the 20th Century” and the Royal Albert Hall referring to it as a “culturally iconic work.”

Spek relocated to the UAE in 2006 and in 2011 founded PopArabia as a portfolio investment and in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Media Zone, twofour54. Under his leadership, PopArabia has become the leading music publisher in the Middle East & North Africa, representing an estimated 60% of global music publishing repertoire over the past decade.

In 2015 Spek relocated to the U.S to lead creative & A&R strategy for New York based music company, Reservoir. Throughout this period, Reservoir opened fully staffed creative offices in Los Angeles and Nashville, earned a consistent Top 10 U.S. Market Share according to Billboard’s Publisher’s Quarterly report, was twice named Publisher of the Year at Music Business Worldwide’s The A&R Awards, and became the publishing home to top American songwriting talent including BMI ‘Songwriter of the Year’ Ali Tamposi and Grammy-winner James Fauntleroy, among others. Reservoir made history in July 2021 as the first independent music company to go public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Spek relocated back to the UAE in 2019, announcing a new joint venture and partnership between Reservoir and PopArabia to invest in Arab talent. He returned to his role running PopArabia while also leading Reservoir’s international and emerging markets strategy into markets including China, India and throughout Africa. In 2020 PopArabia launched ESMAA, the first music rights management organization operating in the Gulf states, representing global collecting societies including Canada’s SOCAN and the U.K’s PRS For Music.

Spek holds an M.B.A from the University of Liverpool, with a specialization in International Business and was included in Billboard Magazine’s coveted ‘International Power Players’ list in 2021; He is also a member of the ‘Global Music Council’, an advisory board to New York based, Splice; the cloud-based music creation and collaboration platform, recently valued at nearly $500m.,

Iain Kemplay


At ESMAA, Iain leads all licensing negotiations with music users, liaising with industry stakeholders to ensure the rights of music creators are appropriately represented and valued.


Iain has a deep background in both collective rights management and the licensing of music rights for all types of media production, distribution and dissemination and on a multi-territory basis.


He spent many years at a senior management level at PRS for Music and more recently has worked on projects focused on inflight entertainment and broadcasting, including within the Gulf States, and providing assessments for the funding of digital media innovation projects.


Michael Battiston

Head of Society Relations

Michael is an expert in the area of music rights management, whose past consulting clients have included Sound Exchange, CISAC, BMAT, CMRRA and a number of PROs. Prior to setting up his individual practice, he acted as Chief Business Development Officer at ICE Services in Europe with responsibility for sales and strategy, as well as serving as Vice President of International Business Development at ASCAP.  At ASCAP his mandate was to maintain strong society and publisher relationships around the world and maximize foreign revenue. Michael also directed a number of operational areas at ASCAP, and served on CISAC’s Supervisory Board, the DDEX Board of Directors, and the FastTrack Management Board. He is also a pretty good bass player.

Ceasar M Apostol

Data and Distribution Manager

Ceasar has held a distinguished career in music rights management over several decades. Beginning his career as the first Country Manager for Warner Chappell’s entry into the Philippines, he moved on to a role as the head of Star Songs Music Publishing, a division of the ABS-CBN Broadcasting network. This eventually led to roles at The Filipino rights society FILSCAP, where he oversaw a team of 30 as the Licensing, documentation and distribution manager and later at the IFPI, as the regional head of licensing for Asia.


He joins ESMAA with an extensive background in licensing and distributions, overseeing ESMAA’s distribution work as it develops the first Gulf music rights database.



Consuelo Sayago


Conseulo has devoted her life to make sure the rights of creators are properly represented and compensated.  Starting as a contract administrator in BMI’s International Department, she quickly transitioned to EMI where she administered the tv and film music for 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and other production companies.   

She later returned to BMI where she spent most of her music career, culminating in her role as AVP of International.  Here she was positioned to make her biggest impact on behalf of BMI’s writers and publishers by cultivating relationships with more than 100 rights organizations around the world and growing BMI’s international revenue to $300 million. She worked closely with sister societies to mutually improve service and payment to songwriters and music publishers.

Taking the leap from rights management to music publishing again, Consuelo left BMI to the role of General Manager at Mojo Music & Media for its initial year where she set up the copyright and royalty infrastructure of the startup.  She oversaw the day-to-day activities of the music publisher and ensured clients always received on-call personal service. 

She is excited to join ESMAA as Advisor and to be part of a team that is elevating the rights of music creators in the Gulf States. 

Consuelo holds a Bachelor of Science in Music from Hofstra University and a certificate from Columbia Graduate School of Business in Emerging Leadership. 

Saqer Al Qassimi

Head of Business Development and Government Relations

Saqer Al Qassimi is an Emirati national with extensive expertise in corporate development and operational strategy. As a business owner and entrepreneur, he values the importance of intellectual property and strongly advocates for the protection of music creators’ rights. He has also been a longtime vocal advocate for the growth of the music industry on a local and regional level.


Additionally, Saqer has a personal passion for music and songwriting, with over 15 years of experience in music production and investing in music projects He holds a degree in finance and business administration and is a founding member and sits on the board of directors for the Emirati Musicians Association.

Cynthia John

Legal & Business Affairs Manager

Cynthia is the Legal & Business Affairs Manager at ESMAA, specializing in simplifying copyright and music business matters for rights owners in MENA.


Drawing upon her extensive knowledge of copyright law, she has negotiated and secured licenses for prominent labels, artists, music festivals, and brands over her career.


Cynthia’s diverse background includes previous roles at law firms, music labels, and handling music licensing responsibilities at South Asia’s largest digital music streaming service, JioSaavn.


Her areas of expertise includes Intellectual Property, Licensing & Royalties, Employment Practices, Policy Formation, General Business Advisory, Commercial Contracts, and Music-Media services for multinational corporations.


Cynthia holds a B.A., LL.B (Hons.) from Jindal Global Law School and a U.S. Business Law certification from Columbia Law School. She is currently pursuing her LL.M. in International Law and Foreign Affairs at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) College of Law in Qatar.