Dubai-based Saad raps about life experiences

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Dubai-based Saad raps about life experiences

Published: Mon 17 Apr 2017, 6:06 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Apr 2017, 8:13 PM

Dubai-based Lebanese-Canadian rap sensation Saad Brizzy has the ability to tell stories through his music. Drawing inspiration from pop icons such as Chris Brown and Drake, his songs draw attention to his Middle East life experiences, alongside his semi-Westernised upbringing.
"I believe in making music for every situation - for tougher things we experience in the region, for personal experiences we encounter in the East and West, and for times when it is necessary to enjoy life. As an artist, I have to believe in myself and put the hard work and let the music speak for itself," Saad tells City Times.
We speak to Saad to know more:
Are you self taught, how did music happen for you?
Yes, I am self-taught. It all started at my high school after-school program. We had Basketball, singing, Football, Table Tennis, Swimming, Chess and the list goes on. I was interested in Basketball and Football, but I only got into one. The only other class with an empty slot was singing, I felt silly but my teacher encouraged me to perform, I fell in love with music and the stage and I never stopped.
Which legendary musician/performer figure do you most identify with?
I would say Drake, because I do both singing and rapping. We are both similar in the sense that we don't have the typical packaging of a rapper.
Who are your favourite singers?
Drake, Chris brown, Usher, Kendrick Lamar, Jeremiah . This is like asking a kid to choose between their parents, they all have so much significance to me as an artist.
Which living musician do you most admire?
Drake for sure! He has managed to constantly evolve as an artist and keep things fresh, which is a lot tougher than it sounds.
What is the best gig you've done?
My Best gig would probably be Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Beats by the Beach - it gave me a taste of the big stage and I have stayed hungry ever since. I also enjoyed my private events at the Fridge, intimate settings are great, you get to know your audience a little.
If you were not a musician what would you be?
A manager of an artist for sure, I would not be able to stay away from the music scene.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
My idea of perfect happiness would probably be finishing up a record and having my best friend and brother give it a listen, who is also my official DJ. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of music that you are proud of.
What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear used to be not graduating high school or university, so I always kept my head down and studied. My education was important to me, because so many people do not get the opportunities that I was given and it helps me enhance my music. Making good music requires focus and rap requires structure at intellect, I was lucky enough to sharpen these tools through my education. Right now, I would not call it a fear but my biggest concern is missing opportunities that will help me develop my career in the music industry. It's like an exciting fear or driver that keeps me motivated to work hard. My mission is to show the world that people in the Middle East region have so much to offer the music industry, I guess my biggest fear is failing to leave my mark in that sense.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Probably a lack of confidence. Sometimes I question if other people will like my music. I am not shy on stage and I know good music, but it is important to me that people enjoy what I create as much as I do. Sometimes this creates issues for me creatively, but with each day I am learning to become a more independent artist.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
In the creative industry, you will always find people who support you when it is convenient for them. It doesn't bother me too much, rather than deplore others - I value honesty and loyalty. If I make it big or I stay organic, I will always remember who really supported me - even when it was tough or I was still learning.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
In the music industry, probably being overly cautious. In this industry, you need to take risks every day in different measures. Having enough courage to believe in yourself is a risk itself.
On what occasion do you lie?
April fools I guess, I can't resist a good prank.
What do you most dislike about yourself?
Sometimes I panic in tough situations, I can be a bit of a cynic.
One musician you most despise?
I don't despise any musicians, it takes a lot of courage to be a performer. I feel like every artist has their own way in sending out a message. More importantly audiences are so diverse, people have different ways of interpreting music and it is important that there is something for everyone. I respect all artists and musicians.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Some of my slang carries over from texting, so I catch myself saying Obviously, I told you and haha a lot.
When and where were you happiest?
I'm happy now, I have so much to be grateful for - my family, my friends, my health, for this interview I'm doing with City Times, I appreciate the support of local talent. This beautiful city makes me happy- I've been in Dubai for 18 years and I learnt a lot living here. As tough as things can be as a musician, I am lucky that I am doing what I love.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I rap and sing but apart from mastering these talents; I wish I was talented at reading people. I would love to see how my music or how music in general really impacts people.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Probably staying positive. You hear people say "believe in yourself" so often, but nobody ever talks about how challenging that can be, it is something I work on every day.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I still can't believe my first ever single hit 30K views on YouTube. Dropping 2 other singles in just 6 months was also something I am proud of.
What is your most treasured possession?
My car, mainly because I drive well in the desert and it's something I really enjoy - which may sound like an odd achievement but if you're from the region, you'd get it.
What is your favourite occupation?
Marketing things that I believe in, in my case marketing my music.
What do you most value in your friends?
That they show up. People underestimate the weight of someone's presence so much. Their support and willingness to stick around when things aren't always easy is what I value most.
One stage you dream of being on?
Formula 1 DU Arena concerts is my next goal. But in the long run I would love to perform for people of influence and artists that I admire, whether that is in Madison sq. or in a closet, doesn't matter to me.
If you had a dream band who would be playing in it?
I would love to perform with Drake and Chris Brown, being on stage with that much creativity and fun would be a rush.

By MIchael Gomes

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