Growing up in a Sudanese household I’ve been around music all my life, my dad used to play music from a lot of different artists from Sudan, this was my foundation and I’ve only realized that later on in my career. My passion for music also came from listening to a lot of radio, attending as many concerts in the city as I can ever since I was 16, and being influenced by artists such as Stevie wonder, Bob Marley & Michael Jackson.
I would describe it as ‘World Music’. Growing up in a city like Dubai, I’ve been exposed to sounds from different parts of the world, which has had a huge influence in the way I listen to music, and also how I write songs. I wouldn’t want to limit my music or myself to specific genres - I like to take my listeners to a different space.
I’ve gathered bits & pieces from artists like Stevie wonder, I’ve been inspired by his ability to travel with his music across different generations. Another big inspiration is none other than Michael Jackson and how effortless everything looked, but in fact it took years and years of hard work and dedication. My family & friends have always been my biggest supporters. They also inspire me to be great every day and write songs that help me express myself. I believe an artist is not just a singer or a dancer, but also someone who paints the world with something beautiful and has the ability to make an impact whether it’s big or small. Muhammad Ali is a great example of what an artist is - he’s work ethic and journey is something I’ve always admired.
I’ve experienced many moments that I would categorize as accomplishments, but to name a few: winning the What’s On Dubai Highly commended Best Act Award 2020; “Dance Floor” one of my singles being No.1 in six countries on Anghami; headlining Bob Marley Tribute Festival in Oman back in 2019 and a tour I’ve organized called “The1995Experience” in 2019 until the pandemic hit.
The first song I’ve released was titled “By your side”. I remember playing this song at every open mic in the city, community gig and any live performance I had. I’ve played this song so many times that the crowd started singing it word for word a while later, this was like my gauge to test out unreleased records. A lot has changed since; the writing process now can easily happen in a studio or anywhere where a melody would come to mind, and I would build up on that.
One of the biggest obstacles is definitely pursue music full time. Many people have asked, and still do ask me what my real job is. Luckily, I’ve had huge support from my father since I started pursuing music professionally.
I’ve recently performed at an all-original set at EXPO 2020 Dubai at the Jubilee Stage – this was definitely my biggest highlight of my career to date.
From open mic nights to the biggest stages, I’ve performed all over the UAE and the region. My “The1995ExperienceTour” in 2019 went across Saudi, Oman, Sudan, Zimbabwe. The Jubilee Stage at EXPO 2020 Dubai is definitely one my favorite venues.
“HASSA” is my latest release. This record is my first ever release in Sudanese Arabic. I’ve worked on this track earlier this year with the legendary Nigerian producer “MasterKraft” and the song just came together naturally. The approach was try something fresh - a song that would get people to have a good time and scream “HASSA’ which translates to ‘RIGHT NOW’ in Sudanese slang. The song made me connect with my roots and also bridge a gap between the music in Africa and the type of music coming out from the region. During lockdown, especially when everything looked uncertain, I knew exactly what I needed to feel and hoped that this record would lift me up and get everyone enjoying themselves once again.
It’s hard for me to choose one. Each of my releases hold a very special place in my heart, they all have their different times and moods.
I’m currently working with a couple of artists and producers for my upcoming releases, which I’m really excited to share with the world! I’ve been listening to Jamaican singer Chornixx for a while - it would be great to work on a song with him one day. Another artist I would like to work with in the near future is Wizkid, who I think is taking Afrobeats to the world. I’ve watched him live on many occasions. I know time is going to put us together on a record soon. Lastly, STEVIE WONDER is out of this world to have him on a song of mine would be crazy.
I’m a pretty chill person, I usually relax during the week as I’m mostly on stage rocking crowds on weekends!
I love football and I actually thought this was going to be my thing until I took the music route. I’m also love discovering new places, meeting people and spreading good vibes around the world – so traveling is definitely a passion of mine.
I’ve been watching this space for a while! It’s a great pleasure to be featured this year & to every artist reading this, don’t ever stop doing what you love, you could be next. Most of the artists featured have inspired me somehow, Shébani and Freek to name a few are my friends and they’re just beautiful souls. It’s definitely a great platform for artists in this region. I think it’s about time the world knows that there is a lot of GOOD music coming from this side of the world. As artists, we just have to keep on putting the work in and always be willing to learn.