Author: 
Mariam Nihal, [email protected]
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2011-09-07 16:43

Although he started his journey back in his teens, his substantial release marked his presence on the world map recently. Born to a Saudi father and a Turkish mother in Jeddah, Basaad pursued his education in Turkey and the United Kingdom. Proudly a Jeddah boy, his journey from his hometown has landed his music among the best DJs in the world.
His first release with Tarkan in 2008 launched his remix alongside international phenomenons like Tiësto and others. Many would deem his background narrative contrastive to his chosen career, perhaps even his genre of music. Yet, he has succeeded in carrying his heritage forth in his tracks.
In his quest to create something new, he believes in “taking your own experiences and making something out of it.”
Talking to Arab News, he admitted: “I combined modern mix beats with a Khaleeji feel with drums, violin, tabla and other Eastern beats.”
He has collaborated with Saudi female artists and blended his music with their vocals. Examples of such collaborations are “Nehayetnah Eh” Ft. Hanna and Omar Basaad Feat Lamar, “Knt A7lami.”
Ask him how he feels and he humbly replies: “Well, I am not a star or think of myself that way, but it feels great to see my work out there and people enjoying it.”
He started off early and on small dimensions. Basaad’s music venture started off with him buying a beat-box and DJ equipment. He confessed that even though he couldn’t pursue playing the guitar, he is a keyboard player and is always looking for acoustics.
Having said that, he can definitely mix his beats well. He says beat matching and mixing is no easy skill, but rather is acquired. “I improved myself. I learned algorithms, notes, and the fundamentals of recording techniques and then produced my own music.”
The young star soon found himself pursuing his dream of becoming an international DJ/producer when he purchased his first beat maker and learned how to play the keyboard. Having discovered that he wanted to be more involved in the production side of music, he breathed reality into his dreams at the age of 17. Basaad had envisioned himself to be more than just a onetime wonder, so delved deeper into Audio Engineering.
Since then, he has landed numerous sessions at clubs across Turkey and the Middle East. This led to his big break, and he was asked to produce a track for famous Turkish pop star Tarkan.
The DJ/producer also spends a lot of time traveling to perform and produce mainly in Europe, Turkey and the Middle East. He says what he loves doing when not listening or producing music is his time at the beach where he can “enjoy the sunset and embrace the moment.”
Saudi Arabia has its share of stereotypes like many Arab countries. He says it is hard to pursue the career chosen in music since parents tend to choose careers for their children. “Most parents want their children to be doctors, engineers or businessmen. But I have been blessed with parents who are my support system.”
What he feels strongly about is the new generation and the generic consciousness that has evolved in the past five years. He believes that children may pursue the career chosen for them by their parents, but eventually, they will follow their dreams and do what makes them happy. “That is the difference in today’s generation. They can think and have what it takes to realize their dreams. Now, the young generation decides what they want to do. They are the present and the future,” he says.
Producing music in the Middle East, according to Basaad, has its limits. However, with the new cultural revolution with new art galleries, music artists and designers, he feels it is a positive change and can lead to a better music scene.
Stressing that he has always worked hard and pursued music for the love of it, he is open to new artists who want to collaborate and make music. As advice to local aspiring artists, he stressed on two imperative points: “They shouldn’t do music for money and fame. It should be done if you have the love for it. Also, be ready to work hard and learn from your mistakes. If you make a mistake, know that it is not the end of the world. Take the next step.”
What is evident in Basaad’s musical journey is that he has succeeded in bridging the gap between Western and Middle Eastern music, house beats, sounds and influences in his songs. He is greatly influenced by Steve Angello and admires music artists like Daft Punk, Swedish House Mafia, Sebastian Ingrosso, Erick Morillo, David Guetta, Axwell and Armin Van Helden.
Through his journey, Basaad has learned that experience is the best teacher. “You learn every day, from mistakes, even from amateurs. With music, that is one thing I have learned. You are constantly learning something new.”
Aspiring to be perennial, he is a star to watch out for.
Basaad currently lives in Dubai and hosts a radio show on Panorama FM where he has hosted the world’s top DJs such as Roger Sanchez, Ian Carey, Axwell and Bob Sinclar. You can hear him live on Panorama FM on "Batwanes Beats" From 9 – 10 p.m. KSA time on Wednesdays and Thursdays, where he plays the latest hits and exclusive remixes from all around the world. Visit www.mbc.net/radio/panorama/ to hear him live. The Saudi DJ will be releasing a new single “Theme of Life” on iTunes at the end of September. To hear his music, log on to www.omarbasaad.com or follow him @omarbasaad on Twitter.

Taxonomy upgrade extras: