Listen to This – A Music Column

Post by Amin Fari

aminfari

Yoo!! It’s Amin Fari, or MR.FARI, or just plain Fari. You might’ve caught a few of my shows here in Kuwait, (I’d be the one with a guitar, rocking a man-bun and a fedora), but, just in case you haven’t, I’ll do the one-liner quick intro. I’m a singer/songwriter who studied music in LA and moved to Kuwait in 2013 wanting nothing more than to see the Kuwait music industry grow. Mark has graciously allowed me to contribute to the blog to keep you posted on what’s going on in Kuwait, musically speaking, and to help get the word out. Let’s Jam!

As the temperatures in Kuwait begin to drop, and the weather starts to get better, a few things start to happen; people become friendlier, they become more outgoing, and more outdoor events start to pop up – and in those events, musicians come out to play. It’s as though musicians are birds that come out to serenade the people, making their experience of being outside all the more enjoyable.

And, like every bird-watcher, I observe, looking for new trends. I look for new musicians making their way onto the scene, possible venues where musicians can play, their social media presence, and how they’re promoting their work. This column is really about an observer of Music Culture, one who also happens to participate in the scene, giving you the inside scoop.

Now, in keeping with this bird metaphor, the summer season provides a time for birds to hideout, (I know, this is getting a little too deep with the bird metaphor, but stay with me). Given Kuwait’s scorching summer temperatures, it’s the perfect time for musicians to step back from the performing scene, work in the studio, and publish their music online. So, let’s talk about some of this summer’s latest additions to the scene.

First up, “EE LAA”, a song by Flipperachi and Daffy. Why am I talking about “EE LAA”? Because, you guys know Daffy from his other hit, “Samboosa”, and this summer he gave us “EE LAA”, which took over the Middle East. He put together a great campaign which revolved around people breakdancing to the song, got KIA and a whole bunch of others to sponsor, and it went viral. And thus, I cannot talk music in Kuwait without tipping my hat to them, and giving them props for their success. Here is the link to check out their music video “EE LAA”:

Another great upcoming musician that I highly recommend you check out is Mahmoud Kamel – you know, the guy who coordinated the music programs for Bayt Lothan. Since the closing down of Bayt Lothan, he seems to be concentrating more on his own music, and, because his role at Bayt Lothan was one of our main support systems as musicians in Kuwait, I think it’s only fair that we return the favor. Here is his cover of “ROXANNE” by The Police. Enjoy:

The next premiere I’d like to talk about is the album RUSH by Omar Afuni. I am really excited about this project because it is a great expression of Pop, and I know that he wrote himself, taking on, pretty much, all the work, with only 2 or 3 key people, putting out a really great body of music. You can check out his music video here, which is really cool because it pokes fun at all the generic ideas of what Pop is, and what makes a great video, and, you should just watch it, it really is worth it.

Next up, Adel Qattan’s Born Digital. I think it’s really interesting because he takes Omar Afuni, takes him out of Pop, and puts him in a whole different type of Rock world. Now, I’ve seen Adel work with Jazz, Reggae, Latin music, but Born Digital is really the expression that he loves the most. So, I’m excited for his project, and to see where it goes. Please check it out and let him know what you think.

Now, before I let you go, we need to talk. It’s about us. Yes, “us”. “You” the fans, and “us” the musicians. As I work in the music industry, I hear a lot of commentary from people and artists that there is no music scene in Kuwait. But, I believe, that in order to have a thriving music scene, there needs to be a loyal fan-base helping to build it. So it is important that you take the time to link up with these artists, because one cannot expect to have a strong music scene with fans only coming out to show their support at its prime. We are all used to being fans of a particular artist or venue, but what I am asking of you is a little bit different. I am asking you to be a fan of a scene. Go support all the musicians and the venues that you can, whether or not they hold a special place in your heart, that way, the whole music scene can feel that they are being heard and supported. Take the time to engage with these artists and comment on their social media, be friends with them. Follow their links and their performances because, even though without them there is no music, more importantly, without fans music doesn’t live, either. So, you guessed it, the scene needs you to survive. So go support local music.

Love, Music and Peace

Post by Amin FARI
Are you a musician looking to perform? On the flipside, are you a host looking for musicians to book? Or maybe you’ve just got an awesome idea you’d like to share? Get in touch aminfarilive@gmail.com / Instagram: @xxmrfarixx


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Kuwaitis in Chile

Post by Mark

The National Council of Culture, Art and Letters sent local musician Mr.Fari to Chile along with other musicians to sing as part of a program to showcase the diversity of talent in Kuwait. The video diary about is a short but entertaining film where Mr.Fari documents a day with a Kuwaiti folkloric group in Chile. [YouTube]

kuwaitisinchile


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Mr.Fari and Plastic Desert Roots

Post by Mark

amin

Mr.Fari (A.K.A Amin Fareed Abdal) is one of my favorite local artists as well as a friend of mine. I’ve posted about him on the blog a number of times before and I think he’s super talented (actually his whole family is) which is why I’m excited to share his latest project titled “Plastic Desert Roots”.

Plastic Desert Roots is a collaboration between Mr.Fari and Fabrice. Fabrice Mareau (whom I’ve also posted about before) produced and musically directed the EP to create a whole different folk reggae pop sound while Mr.Fari wrote the songs and melodies to add to the twist. Both Mr.Fari and Fabrice were raised in the Caribbean yet perform in the Middle East all the time. It seems like it was a matter of time they collaborated.

Two songs from “Plastic Desert Roots” are available to stream online for free (music video for one above) while the rest require to be purchased. Mr.Fari will also be playing the whole album on 99.7FM today from 1PM to 3PM and also explain the backstory behind each.

If you want to hear “Plastic Desert Roots” online and also purchase his music, check out his BandCamp page [Here]

To follow Mr.Fari on his social networks, check out the links below. Some lucky fans have received vinyls and also album leaks.

Mr.Fari on Facebook
Mr.Fari on Instagram
Mr.Fari on Twitter
and “mrfari” on Snapchat


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REUSE (Night) Schedule

Post by Mark

reuseschedule

I got my hands on the schedule for the musical performances taking place this coming weekend at REUSE. Check it out below and click the names of the artists if you want to find out more about them:

Friday 1st April
Altersal 5.15 pm (45 mins max)
Maotik 6.15 pm (40 mins max)
Nicholson 7.30 pm (45 mins max)
Nonotak 8.30 pm (40 mins max)
The ERA 9.15pm (45 mins max)

Saturday 2nd April
Fari B & Chris Weaver 5.15 pm (30 mins max)
Karim Sultan 6.15 pm (45 mins max)
Magic Island 7.30 pm (45 mins max)
Maotik 8.30 pm (40 mins max)

Just a reminder, this is for REUSE (Night) which requires a purchase of a ticket, REUSE (Day) is free to attend by everyone. For more details on the REUSE event click [Here]


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Giveaway: Win Two Tickets to the Kuwait Rising Music Festival Featuring HVOB

Post by Mark

kuwaitrising

Kuwait Rising is an alternative Arab music festival which is going to be held in Kuwait this coming weekend (March 11) and feature artists from around the world including HVOB, Perfect Timing, Bosaina and Etyen. The event is hosted by Zahed Sultan at DAI in Yarmouk with limited tickets costing KD15 each.

hvob

248AM has teamed up with Zahed Sultan and Red Bull to giveaway two festival tickets to one lucky winner. All you need to do to enter the draw is leave a comment below mentioning the brand of the energy drink in the flyer above.

I will stop accepting entries in the comments section by tomorrow (Tuesday March 8th) at 11PM and then randomly choose one winner and notify them via email.

Rules: Only one entry per person and please make sure you use a working email since the winner will be contacted by email. If winner doesn’t respond, another winner will be randomly chosen.

For more information on the event click [Here]

Update: I closed the post for comments and then using random.org drew a number. The first number was 115 (Dheeraj) but that person had left two comments so they were disqualified. The second number I drew was 49 (Kapish), but that person didn’t have the correct answer so they were also disqualified. Finally the third number I drew was 86 (Amal) so thats the winer and I just sent them an email.

86


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HVOB Coming to Kuwait

Post by Mark

hvob

The Red Bull Music Academy finally released their list of musicians who will be performing at the Kuwait Rising music festival next month and one of the artists coming will be HVOB. I got to watch them perform live in Beirut around 2 years back and they put on a great show so it’s pretty cool that they’re coming to Kuwait. Actually, just an odd tidbit, remember last week in my Tumi bag review I posted about seeing a beat up and dented aluminium Rimowa at an airport once and falling in love with it? Well that suitcase actually belonged to one of the band members of HVOB who I ended up running into at the airport the day after their performance. So pretty weird coincidence considering I posted that last week and now this. Details on the event are still being fizzled out but for now you can check out the latest info [Here]


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New Track: Hala Yummah

Post by Mark

Hala Yummah is a new track by the duo Issa Hashemi and Ali Habib. It came out over the holidays and has been quickly gaining popularity with it’s fusion of electronic and Kuwaiti music. Check out the video on top. [YouTube]

hala


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New Band: The WaterTowers

Post by Mark

watertowers

The WaterTowers is a new band that was recently formed featuring a super talented all star cast of musicians including Amin Fari (Mr.Fari), Ali Sleeq, Yousef Al Qabandi and Hashim Al Nassir while being produced by Riadh Al Qabandi. They’ve released their first single on SoundCloud called BurnForYou and you can check it out below.


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Big D is Back from Retirement

Post by Mark

Infamous Kuwaiti rapper Big D retired earlier this year with a pretty odd resignation letter. The main reason he left music was because he started believing music was a sin and that the rap industry as a whole were advocates of the Devil. I guess he no longer believes that because he’s back out of retirement with a new video. Sadly it’s a pretty boring video, he really should go back and get the guy who produced my favorite video of his that had the trashy looking girls drinking fake wine. At least that was entertaining to watch even if you didn’t like his music.

bigd


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Mohammed Taher, Brave Wave and the Generation Series

Post by Patrick

cd-SFII

I previously interviewed Mohammed Taher, the Kuwaiti creative director and founder of the Brave Wave record label. Since then he’s been busy helping in the releases of various projects like Keiji Yamagishi’s (Ninja Gaiden’s composer) first solo album, Shovel Knight’s soundtrack and an album by duo composers Saori Kobayashi (Panzer Dragoon) and Yumiko Takahashi (Suikoden) under the name of AKANE.

It doesn’t seem like he or Brave Wave take any breaks because they recently started a new label called the Generation Series. Under the Generation Series name they’ll be releasing definitive, remastered soundtracks of classic games. The first game they’re working on is Street Fighter II. The Verge recently interviewed him and sound engineer Marco Guardia about the challenges they faced working on such a huge project.

The project is interesting for various reasons. First of all, convenience. Video game soundtracks are hard to come by and when you do find them they usually cost more than they should because of rarity. The reason I personally think the Generation Series is interesting is the idea of preservation. Other forms of media (like film) have people restoring and preserving them. Preservation is a new concept when it comes to gaming, especially video game music, so I really appreciate Brave Wave taking the initiative.

It’s great to see Kuwait being represented by someone like Mohammed Taher, so be sure to visit Brave Wave’s releases page to support them.


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