I was seven years old when I wrote my first song. My parents signed me up for a piano class and we had a recital to prepare for. After they had given us the basics, they had us pick one of three or four songs we’d learned from the book to play at the recital. I realised that all songs were similar and repetitive, and this motivated me to write my own song.
I eventually showed it to my teacher, and he told me that I could play it at the recital. At such a young age, I got a chance to embrace my originality. I remember the song being awful, but it was like really nice to choose my own path. The feeling of performing my original songs in front of people is what pushed me to pursue this.
I would say my greatest accomplishment, alongside my team of course, would be seeing the unanticipated success of the listening parties we’ve had around the world for the upcoming EP, PURPLE I. We had 450 RSVPs in New York City, 980 in Toronto, over a thousand in Dubai and roughly 2000 in Jeddah. All venues reached max capacity shortly after doors opened.
Being in the room with so many people who are singing the lyrics, showing us love, and supporting us reminded me that we’re on the right track. The final listening party, in Jeddah, was truly a reminder that there are people out there who really believe in us.
I don’t really follow a process when I’m writing or producing a song. One thing that has been consistent for me, however, is making sure that I know what exactly I’m in the studio for - I don’t like to aimlessly walk in and write songs that have no topic or thesis.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our first planned live appearances (early 2020) due to the pandemic. We are just now getting back into planning shows. But if listening parties count, we enjoyed being at the top floor of Bisha with a view of CN Tower alongside hundreds of our listeners from Toronto.
We were invited to perform at Riyadh Season’s XP conference. It wasn’t really a show for our fans, it was more so entertainment for the professionals attending the conference. We did enjoy doing it, but performing for our fans who know the songs and are excited to see us is an entirely different experience.
My latest solo release is a single called “standards.” The song is about raising the bar so much that, now, what used to feel exceptional and excellent now just feels average and mediocre. I wrote this song in the middle of the pandemic - I remember it being the day I arrived in California, in July 2020. The first references of this track were recorded in the living room in quarantine.
I have a strong connection to the song “nights in dubai”. It’s a very personal record cataloging thoughts I had kept to myself for a very long time. Some of these thoughts are about people who wasted my time and misled me, and some are even about close friends and business partners. After recording and mixing it, I felt an immense relief; I felt like I finally got over what I was going through these past few years in Dubai.
“I’m in Dubai” is actually a record by our friend, David Jassy. I just have a small part in the intro of the record with the opening verse. And I also mixed the record. While I can’t speak entirely for David, from our conversations I’ve gathered the song is about how making it to Dubai is triumphant. David has been through a lot and has faced many challenges. Finally ending up in a luxurious world class city making bangers is a peak moment.
Yes, we are. I won’t mention any names, but we have a very special guest on the upcoming PURPLE I EP. Otherwise, I’ve been doing many features with other independent artists, many of which are from Toronto. I guess it’s a byproduct of having a bit of buzz there and hosting our listening party.
I wish I had an average day. Every day is so different, and it can get exhausting. But one thing I try to do is take my vitamins, exercise, and do my skincare regardless of how busy the day might be. Hopefully I will have more days where I can make music.
2022 is a year where we’ll be substantially increasing the frequency of our releases. So far, we have 1-2 singles dropping every week into mid-March and beyond. Many of the releases will be collaborations we’ve been holding onto for a while with artists from Canada, US, and the UAE. As for releasing an album… timing is everything. If it makes sense, we’ll definitely drop it.
I’m grateful for the opportunity and being one of the first artists on this platform. It means a lot to be recognized. In this region, we don’t have that many platforms for artists to gain exposure. So, I’m grateful and glad to know that Flash Entertainment is paving the way for more of these types of programs.