I’ve always known I wanted to express myself artistically. When I was 15, I decided to drop out of school to pursue music, I went to London to study music, and have been working in the industry for 15 years since.
The music I make is a hybrid of the many genres and elements that inspire me. My music falls under the cultural umbrella of hip hop but has so many different influences like electronic, classic, oriental, synth etc.
What drives me as an artist at the core is creating a platform that allows me to express myself creatively, authentically, unapologetically and in an uncensored way, which to me - is my own form of revolution. I’m a storyteller, I love producing full bodies of work and obsess over an idea until I can bring it to life in a way that people can connect to it. It’s the most time I feel fulfilled, complete and understood. I wouldn’t trade making music for anything in the world.
My proudest achievement has been starting my label ‘Mafi Budget’. Building the infrastructure and team that is allowing me to sustainably and consistently be an artist that’s releasing music and collaborating with creatives from the region as well as being able to develop other artists and offer them label services.
My process usually starts with the music itself; most times I’ll finalize the music production before I start writing lyrics. I’ll have the composition, vision and direction ready then have writing sessions with friends and collaborators. I’ll end up with a bunch of rhymes, words and melody ideas. Once the main concept is formed in my head it becomes like a puzzle that I need to put together to form the full picture I see in my head.
The Trilogy is a 3-part story in my upcoming album ‘Villain Bala Cause’. The songs are all connected musically and visually and serve as my origin story. The first chapter ‘Khatar’ is about being blindsided by betrayal. The second chapter ‘Nazele Big Champagne’ is where I go into processing pain in a melancholic journey. Finally, ‘Dab7’, the third and final chapter of the trilogy, where I enter my villain era and get to the conclusion of the turmoil: Villain Bala Cause.
The music industry has definitely changed drastically. I started working in the music industry when I was 16 and the landscape was totally different specifically for independent music. There was a few players making moves but nothing compared to the snowballing industry we are operating in today and I’m really happy to see Arabic independent music at the forefront of the new wave and hope that the industry keeps developing and growing.
Creating the show is a really important part of my craft, after years of working on the music, the storyline, the films and the character, I get the privilege of putting everything together in one presentation for the fans to come and submerge themselves in the universe. A good show for me is a rollercoaster of emotions, lots of fun, lots of drama and a whole lot of skipped heartbeats.
I'm hoping to go on tour in 2024 after putting out my album. There will surely be an album launch show in my home country of Lebanon, but I’m also hoping to visit Paris as well as Egypt. They’ve been waiting on me.
More projects, more collaborations, more films, continuing to build the label, producing for more artists and films, touring. More life!
The songs from my album ‘Villain Bala Cause’ have been dropping as chapters and will continue to drop until they get combined in the full album this year. I recently put out 06. Ekhir Hamme, there are plans to follow it up with a few dance remixes and then a new single in April.
To not take advice from anyone, to follow my own journey and honor where it leads me.
My favorite interactions with fans are the ones where we talk about what the music means to them in their perspective and in their life, the ones who follow the easter eggs in the music and the videos, and those who are able to piece things together and get the references. My team and I work so hard on the details of everything, so it really means a lot to us when the universe translates them to people.
As the founder and CEO of record label ‘Mafi Budget’, a big part of my job is daily management of the team - a lot of meetings, approvals and brainstorming sessions. I use the remaining 30% of my working time to produce music, work on music stuff and on the show concepts. In my free time, I’ve been working on creating balance: spending it with my family and friends, building my home and enjoying my alone time drawing up new ideas and plans.
I’m excited to be a part of the Regional Artist Spotlight, a platform that continues to highlight talent from the region and connect us with a broader audience, thank you for having me on!