'I work hard in silence and let my success make a noise'

I work hard in silence and let my success make a noise

Wassim 'Sal' Slaiby, who co-manages the career of one of the world's biggest artists right now, The Weeknd, talks to City Times about his work and life

By Enid Parker

Published: Sat 3 Jun 2017, 10:00 AM

Last updated: Sat 3 Jun 2017, 12:05 PM

Wassim 'Sal' Slaiby, who is rated 52 on Billboard's Power 100 this year, joined the Maverick management team in 2016 and now the Lebanon native is co-manager of The Weeknd. He also co-manages French Montana, Belly, Massari and Nav among other talents. Sal helped Starboy reach global success (it had 26 million on-demand streams in the United States alone). Despite his success, he regards himself as a simple person who works hard in silence. Sal is married to Rima Fakih, who was Miss USA in 2010. They have a daughter, Rima. City Times caught up with the Lebanese-Canadian entrepreneur and music manager.
Congratulations! You are part of Billboard's annual list of the most powerful figures in the world in the field of music production. How does it feel?
It was truly a great honour to receive recognition for my many years of hard work as well as be surrounded by so many legendary names in the music business.
To what do you attribute your success in this field?
I am a very simple person; I work hard in silence and let my success make the noise.
Could you let us know what are the three qualities you look for when you sign on an artist?
It is difficult for me to just name three qualities that I look for in an artist because for me, my clients are also my family. I always say I work with those I can see myself spending Christmas with.
Have you been to Dubai? What are your thoughts on the city and its musical talent?
I have been to Dubai on a short trip and was blown away by the architectural beauty of the city. I fell in love with the country even more on a night out in the desert. I can't give my opinion on Dubai's musical talent because sadly I was never there for music related business.
What advice would you give aspiring musicians who are hoping to make a mark in this highly competitive industry?
A piece of advice I would give an aspiring musician is be true to yourself, not what others expect of you. If you are affected by someone who doesn't consider you as an artist, you are not ready to be in the music industry. Surround yourself with the right people so that your journey is much more memorable.
Which new act from your roster are you most excited for, career-wise?
Belly! For 10 years plus Ahmed "Belly" Balshe has been producing, writing, and being a power house for our team. He is now finally ready to be in the limelight and let the world meet Belly.
As far as personal musical choices are concerned, who are your favourites and why?
I love all types of music ranging from hip-hop, R&B, and pop, to Arabic. Fairuz is still my favourite. I am a fan of art!
How do you like to spend your free time?
At home with my family, especially my two Rimas (lol) plus my mother is my guardian angel.
As told to Enid Parker (enid@khaleejtimes.com)

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