Dubai-based singer to perform online

Ibby VK will also offer tips on how to indulge your passion for music while in self-isolation

By Michael Gomes

Published: Wed 25 Mar 2020, 12:26 PM

Last updated: Thu 26 Mar 2020, 6:35 PM

You're confined to the spaces within your apartment because you are maintaining self-quarantine and practising social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. You've kept yourself busy during the day with office tasks, working remotely from home. Once work for the day is over, you've found ways to keep yourself engaged and entertained at home. But what do you do when you've run out of shows to watch on Netflix or books to read and you're bored to death? Music, of course! It's a cure for many ills, especially if you're suffering from boredom. People are using the #stayhome period to make the best out of their passion for music.
Now, a Dubai-based singer-songwriter has come forward with his musical ideas to help people interested in getting into the groove. Ibby VK has been churning out tunes and sharing his thoughts on social media to keep people entertained at home, and starting Thursday, at 7pm, the musician has planned a performance on his online channel - IG/Youtube (IG: @ibbyvk | Youtube: @ibbyvk).
During the half-hour virtual show, Ibby aims to connect with fans and followers, interact with them and perform some of their requests as well. Ibby hopes his music will entertain, engage and bring peace of mind and relief to people who are cooped up inside their homes. "At the end of the day, all we need is a little love and music to get through this pressing time," feels Ibby.
This music movement seems to have sparked a new genre with some Hollywood celebrities aptly calling it 'quarantuning'. Ibby shares with us three musical ideas to help people get through this difficult period. Here are some of his melodious tips that he hopes will help people deal with boredom.
1. Quarantune
If listening to music is your thing, then Ibby has you covered with his list of songs that you could stream. He's even thrown in a couple of his personal favourites. "If you want a calm and peaceful mood, then add these songs to your playlist. It can help you stay focussed and give you the break you need," says Ibby.
A few notable mentions include Hollywood's Bleeding by Post Malone, Breathe by Lauv, Knees by Bebe Rexha, Majbour by Nassif Zeytoun and Paint it, Black by Ciara.
Ibby's personal choices feature: New Divide by Linkin Park, Before I Go by Guy Sebastian, Bawadda'ak by Hussein Al Jassmi, Fireflies by Owl City and his composition Where We Belong.
2. Quarantose (How to compose music during quarantine)
Confinement provides the perfect isolation one may need to compose a song. Use this time well to pursue your passion for music. Here are Ibby's tips on songwriting:
A) Start with the title
Starting with a title will help you stay focused on a single idea for your song. Create a phrase of one to six words that sums up the message of the song. Look for an interesting phrase that suggests a situation or emotion. Try using an image in your title to give it more interest or an action word to give it more energy.
B) Make a list of questions suggested by the title
Start by asking yourself what you want to say about your title and what you think your listeners might want to know. Make a list of questions. Your list may include: What does the title mean? How do you feel about it? What happened to cause this? What do you think or hope will happen next? You'll need about 3-4 questions.
C) How to structure a song
Many of today's biggest hits rely on a song structure like: Verse / Chorus / Verse / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus. Some artistes add a short section called a 'pre-chorus' or 'lift' between the verse and chorus to build anticipation. The verse, pre-chorus, and chorus each have an identifiable melody, one that the listener can recognise when it comes around.
D) Choose a question to answer in the chorus, and one in the verse.
The chorus is the most important part of your song. Select the question you want to answer in your chorus. Write down a short phrase that expresses your answer. Look for images and action words to bring your answers to life. What is the singer feeling, thinking, or saying? What emotion is the singer feeling and how would you describe it? For instance - dark, light, warm, cold etc.
E) Find the melody in your lyrics. 
Choose one or two of the phrases you came up with in Step D. Say them out loud. Exaggerate the emotion in the lines. Notice the natural rhythm and melody of your speech when you say the lines with lots of feeling. This is the beginning of your chorus melody.  Play with it until it feels comfortable.
F) Now add the chords 
Try a simple, repeated chord pattern. Play with the melody and chords until you find something you like. Record yourself singing and playing (or just singing) - even if it's only on your smartphone. Be sure you record it so you don't forget it.
G)  Finishing your song
Now that you have your song idea in place, At this point, there are infinite ways to reach the finish line. It's the magic that makes songwriting so special: There's no 'best' way to do it. The best songwriting process is your own process. The only way to figure it out is to take time, sit down and build it. 
3. Quarantuning
Covid-19 has affected the entire music and entertainment industry everywhere, but there are ways to connect to your audience and one the best ways to do it is through digital media. "Most of the venues and shows in Dubai are either closed or postponed for safety reasons. It has affected my performances as well. However, I am optimistic of the fact that I still can reach out to my fans and followers through social media, and perform live for them," Ibby said, adding that he will be performing online this Thursday.
From an engineer to a singer-songwriter
A homegrown Dubai musician, Ibby VK studied Chemical Engineering after finishing school. But soon after he got his bachelor's degree at the American University of Sharjah in 2017, he began pursuing a career in music, instead of engineering. Ibby shared his experience of studying and pursuing a college degree for the sake of his family. "I love my family so much. They gave me everything so I can have the best education in the world, however, music is my passion and the only thing I am good at, and I would like to perform and share my music with the world for the rest of my life," he said.
However, taking up music as a career was not an easy choice and Ibby had to overcome several challenges while trying to make a break in the industry. He shared, "There were many low moments in my life when I was pursuing my musical career. I had to beg and ask everyone if they needed a singer or musician for their restaurant or events. There was a time when I had nothing left in my bank account and had to cut down on food to survive."
But all his efforts and hard work paid off in the end and he started getting calls to perform at gigs and making enough to fund his original music. In 2017, he was so focused on kick-starting his career that he ended up performing at more than 220 gigs, most of which were not paid, just to get to a point where he could support himself. Today, he is among the fastest rising local artists, playing his original compositions around the UAE. Ibby's latest album One Man Nation is available on It can be streamed online on Spotify, Itunes and Anghami.

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