What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I’m definitely an introvert but I guess what you’ve got to say has to come out somehow. I was raised with two cultures, growing up Muslim in the UK, so it was sometimes hard to find my place and feel comfortable with my identity. Music was my main outlet and really helped me to express myself – it’s a bit like having a diary with a soundtrack.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Dresden was written and recorded during lockdown and it was a culmination of wanting to connect with friends and family back home in the UK, while dealing with all of these negative forces during a global pandemic. I had the time to experiment with sounds and played around with things that reminded me of home, like 90s Britpop and old Arabic ballads.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
With music I’ve always been influenced by musicians who can go all out with their rock n roll while also tapping into their vulnerability. I loved listening to a lot of blues and soul artists growing up. Non-music-wise, I take inspiration from movies and photography. I try to picture what my songs would look like when writing them to help me capture the right mood.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
It’s rock n roll with heart and soul. I think a lot of rock music suffers from a bit too much machismo. It’s good to be vulnerable and let the music take hold.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Howl by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Nebraska by Bruce Springsteen, Are You Experienced by Jimi Hendrix
Movies: Stand By Me, Parasite, School of Rock
Books: The Other Americans by Laila Lalami, Watchmen by Alan Moore, The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
Live because you can always reinterpret your own songs each time you play them. I love feeding off the energy of a live audience, and thinking about it now is making me depressed haha. The studio makes everything so final but everything is always a work in progress.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Handing out 100 pre-rolled joints at one of our shows a couple of weeks after Canada legalized weed. That was a great night.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
The latest one, Dresden. We’d played a show there on a European tour and I had this tune in my head but it wasn’t really anything until the pandemic hit. Being stuck indoors I spent hours with it and never got to rehearse it with a live band. The vibe is a little more cinematic than what I’ve written before and manages to include some of my Arabic and British roots in there too.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
I’m working on more new music. It’s a new process for me writing and creating everything at home, but I’m enjoying it so far.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Is rock n roll dead?
The old way is and that’s a good thing. The feeling you get from rock n roll will never die but I think people have got fed up of hearing the same old stories sung by the same old people. There’s some great up and coming rock bands who represent so many different parts of society – it’s mad to think their stories could never be told unless it was in almost any other genre.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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