DUBAI: Lebanese electronic music producer Etyen has entered the world of TV for the first time, composing the soundtrack for Netflix’s first Arabic original series “Jinn.”
Released last week, “Jinn” is a supernatural teen drama that promises to explore contemporary themes of jinn mythology, but from a “relatable-yet-unique young adult perspective.” Produced by Beirut-based Kabreet Productions and directed and executive produced by Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya, the five-episode series was shot on location in Jordan and stars a group of up-and-coming young actors. Two of the episodes were directed by Amin Matalqa, who also contributed to the show’s writing.
A versatile composer, producer, DJ and musician, Etyen, whose real name is Samer Etienne Chami, is known for performing dark and textured tracks, but also for the emotional thread that runs through most of his work.
“I was very lucky that I was initially chosen for my sound as Etyen,” said Chami, who released the dancefloor-friendly EP “Bebe” in late March. “So the process was very creative and inspiring for me. I was asked to do my thing, in a way, working within my own sound, while taking into consideration the cultural aspects of the show and working with the constraints of being part of a big production with so many moving parts.
“It was really exciting to be working in familiar territory sound-wise, and one that is very much me as Etyen, while also learning a lot about the role of music in film and serialized storytelling,” he continued. “Learning how to bring the show and the characters to life musically and working on themes to highlight different feelings. To guide the story as it evolves with each chapter.”
Etyen is used to collaborations. He recently produced and mixed Rabih Salloum’s “You Know the Days,” featuring Tamara Qaddoumi, and produced Pól’s “Conversation With A Stranger.” “Jinn,” however, is the first TV series soundtrack he has composed.
“Both directors, Mir-Jean Bou Chaaya and Amin Matalqa, responded well to the music I was making,” he said. “It was really inspiring to work together and exchange ideas and spend lots of time dissecting scenes and the meaning behind them, and refining things while focusing on pacing and tension building. All the little intricacies that come into play when you are scoring for film.”