Dubai band Chronicles of Khan journey forward

Dubai-based musician Faraz Khan talks about his passion for performing and the struggles of coming up in the local music industry.

By Mohamad Kadry

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Published: Tue 5 May 2015, 8:21 PM

Last updated: Sat 25 Feb 2023, 7:08 PM

If you've got a talent for music, gaining public recognition in Dubai is far easier than it might be in other places - such is the advantage of being a (relatively) big fish in a small pond. But with a lack of industry infrastructure and support here, taking your career to the next level can still feel like a daunting task.

Faraz Khan knows this struggle better than most. As the founding member of established local rock band Chronicles of Khan, he has experienced everything from meeting with labels reluctant to sign local acts to facing exorbitant fees in order to record music in a studio. While the group continues to perform at one-off gigs around the country, he’s left to help manage everything from publicity to bookings himself, an exhausting responsibility he wishes could be passed on to someone tasked with assisting the band’s professional course.

“The biggest and most prominent issue is that there’s no music industry here,” Khan said. “We don’t have legitimate artist management companies that connect you with record labels. Most major labels are just here for distribution. We’ve got plenty of promoters and small event organisers, so getting gigs has not been a major problem. But what’s next?”

Born and raised in Dubai, Khan’s band is a collective of musicians that currently includes Sean Walters, Johan Roy D’souza and Inaki Arrieta. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Jim Morrison and Led Zepplin, their rock identity unabashedly plays upon various other genres like Indie and Alternative as they continue to search for group stability amidst Dubai’s notoriously transient nature.

“Living here made me realise how difficult it is to keep a band together,” Khan, the group’s main vocalist, said. “From members losing jobs to getting married to moving away, it’s been difficult having to constantly recruit and reestablish a chemistry with each other.”

To deal with the lack of time he’s had for writing new material while focusing on all the band’s affairs, Khan recently decided to build an impressive semi-professional studio in the spare bedroom of his apartment using equipment he had collected over the years. With plans to record their first album together, Chronicles of Khan are hoping their artistry translates well with the masses.

“I enjoy making stuff that sounds good. Sometimes we’ll be using an acoustic guitar but then you might hear hints of a metal riff or even drum and bass. As musicians we are secretly open to everything,” he said. “More and more people are starting to respond to our music, singing along to our songs. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing for a crowd of 10,000 or just 10 - that is what’s most important to us.”

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