Meet Shaun Warner, the UAE-based producer conquering the US charts

The Dubai-based Irish music producer dropped his debut album “Shaun Warner & Friends”. (Supplied)
Updated 15 June 2018
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Meet Shaun Warner, the UAE-based producer conquering the US charts

DUBAI: It’s been a good 18 months for Shaun Warner. The Dubai-based Irish music producer dropped his debut album “Shaun Warner & Friends” — which topped several regional iTunes charts — last January; has racked up hundreds of thousands of streams of his music online; and has seen a string of successive singles — starting with “Chasing,” the first from his second album “Stay,” released Friday, June 15 — crack the US Billboard charts (a first for a dance-music artist based in the GCC, he believes) and receive international airplay on radio and television.

“It’s been amazing,” Warner told Arab News. “If you’d told me 18 months ago that I’d have had three or four songs or remixes on the Billboard charts, I’d have laughed at you.”

Like his debut, Warner’s second LP is a set of collaborations with both regional and international artists. The title track features Dubai-based singer-songwriter and producer Hadi Sarieddine, and gets top billing, Warner said, because he enjoyed making it so much.

“I’d never really sat in a room and jammed before,” he told Arab News. “I’d always done my piece (at home), sent it to them to do their piece, and so on, like a see-saw. Whereas with this, I’d go over to his house, maybe take the piano, he’d pick up his guitar… It was my first time feeling like an artist, really. I’d leave the room on a high, like, ‘We created something!’”

The new record is more pop-y than the debut album. That record was written over five years, whereas “Stay” was completed over 12 months and, Warner stressed, “It was a good year. Life’s good. I’m happy.” That’s reflected in the upbeat, radio-friendly vibe.

“In the past, I think I’ve been guilty of trying to be a little bit cool,” Warner said. “Whereas I’m not bothered about that anymore. If I like it, I like it. It was a relief to take that pressure off my shoulders. A good pop song is hard to beat.”

Expectations have been raised considerably for “Stay.” “I set myself three targets for this year back in December: A million streams, a number one album, and make the Billboard charts,” Warner explained.

Six months in, he’s over halfway there on the streams (without even counting YouTube views), cracked the Billboard charts, and you wouldn’t bet against “Stay” hitting number one. Chances are he’s in for another year of writing pop songs.


What We Are Reading Today: 99 Variations on a Proof by Philip Ording

Updated 24 January 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: 99 Variations on a Proof by Philip Ording

  • Book draws unexpected connections to everything from mysticism and technology to architecture and sign language.

 

This book offers a multifaceted perspective on mathematics by demonstrating 99 different proofs of the same theorem.

Each chapter solves an otherwise unremarkable equation in distinct historical, formal, and imaginative styles that range from medieval, topological, and doggerel to chromatic, electrostatic, and psychedelic.

With a rare blend of humor and scholarly aplomb, Philip Ording weaves these variations into an accessible and wide-ranging narrative on the nature and practice of mathematics, according to a review on the Princeton University Press website.

Inspired by the experiments of the Paris-based writing group known as the Oulipo — whose members included Raymond Queneau, Italo Calvino, and Marcel Duchamp — Ording explores new ways to examine the aesthetic possibilities of mathematical activity.

99 Variations on a Proof is a mathematical take on Queneau’s Exercises in Style, a collection of 99 retellings of the same story, and it draws unexpected connections to everything from mysticism and technology to architecture and sign language.