How long have you been doing what you’re doing and how did you get started in the first place?
I’ve been making music since 2009 while studying electrical engineering in the United States at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I was drawn to hip-hop music when I saw some university students rapping at an open mic event. The amazing energy and vibe was something I never experienced before so I decided to try writing rap songs myself and I’ve been making music ever since.
Who were the first influences on your music and style?
The first influence would have to be Drake and Craig David.
In your opinion who is the most influential and successful artist in your genre today and why?
I believe that Drake is the most influential and successful hip-hop artist today for a number of reasons. Firstly, he always brings something new to rap music unlike other rappers who only make club records. Secondly, he’s the most versatile artist since he’s able to smoothly merge his rapping with mellow singing while making it all sound pleasing to the ears. Finally, he’s very honest when he writes, as in he’s not afraid to express “soft” emotions such as loneliness so a lot of people can relate to his songs.
Which famous song or sound production, ultimately describes what you’d like Arabique music productions to sound like?
There’s no way for me to pick one song because I love to experiment with different sounds and vibes when it comes to instrumentals such as; R&B, Jazz, East Coast hip hop, dubstep etc.
Do you think your music is mostly enjoyed more for the beats or for the lyrical flow and content?
I always pick good beats that inspire me to write about certain topics however most of my listeners admire my rap music because of my complex lyricism.
Do you make your own beats and write your own lyrics? If yes what software or equipment do you prefer using? If you don’t do any of this by yourself, how do you get this done?
I don’t make my own beats but I always write my own lyrics. I usually buy beats from other producers. Sometimes DJ Outlaw, who established the record label I’m signed to known as “Outlaw Productions”, produces some beats for me as well.
If you could choose to work with some of today’s established artists or producers, to move your game to the top, with whom would you like to collaborate?
I would love to work with Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino, Chance the Rapper, Logic, G-eazy and Kanye West.
Which latest songs, videos or mixtapes releases are currently available to your fans and where can they be heard or downloaded?
I recently released a music video for my new single (I’m Yours). You can find the video on my YouTube channel:
Furthermore, you can purchase my new single on iTunes. You can also find my other music on my soundcloud account: www.soundcloud.com/arabique.
Which ingredient do you think is most essential in making your sound and style the way it is?
Eloquence is the most essential aspect of my music.
Which emotion more than any other, currently dominates your music? Joy, sadness, anger or passion etc. , and why?
Recently negative emotions have been potent in music because negative energy gives me an urge to write and record new songs.
What aspect of the music making process excites you most, and what aspect discourages you the most?
Recording is definitely the most exciting aspect of making music because that’s when I feel like things are starting to come to fruition for a new project. However, mixing is the least exciting but thankfully sound engineers mix my music and I never had to deal with that.
How involved are you in the recording, producing, mastering, marketing, and other processes needed to make and sell your music, and do you outsource any part of these processes?
Sometimes I record in Bahrain at the “Outlaw Productions” recording studio. When I’m in Kuwait I use my small home studio setup to record. When it comes to producing I get my beats from other producers or DJ Outlaw. Also, Outlaw Productions handles the mastering and marketing for my projects.
Do you think the advent of internet and all the new technology has helped your music and independent musicians in general, or do you think it just creates a mass of mediocre “copycats” who flood the web, making it difficult to distinguish yourself?
It definitely helps because artists no longer need major record labels to be successful, which is a beautiful thing but in the same time the Internet is becoming more saturated with mediocre rappers with no originality. This makes it more difficult for good artists to make it because people immediately label new rappers as “fake” whenever they come across their social media accounts. Thankfully, some of them change their minds after they give me a chance by listening to some of my music.
In your experience so far, what is the best piece of advice in this business you actually followed? And one you didn’t follow, but now know for sure that you should have?
Numerous listeners said that I should sing more R&B and I’m glad that I followed that advice because some people prefer to hear more melodies in my songs. As of now, I don’t have any regrets when it comes to the music I released or the steps that I’ve taken to establish myself as an artist since I started.
Being an independent artist, which is the one factor, above all else, that you currently desire most (increased music distribution, better quality production, more media exposure, more club and live performances etc…)?
In the end of the day I have a strong desire to move people through self-expression so I need more exposure to achieve that goal.
Where do you distribute and promote your music (Amazon, iTunes, CD, Your own Website, YouTube etc…) and why do you think this channel works best for you?
Most of my music is available on my soundcloud but I promote my music on the following social media accounts:
Instagram works best for me since it’s more popular than twitter and Facebook in Kuwait and the Middle East in general.
You have releases a new TRACK called I’m yours and you actually released it with a video clip directed by Mina Malekpour. Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Tru Hitz ? And the whole video filming?
I randomly came across TruHitz’s website while searching for new beats and when I listened to the instrumental for “I’m Yours” I purchased it from him immediately. The video filming process with Mina Malekpour was incredible due to the fact that she is very talented and creative.
How important do you think video is to your music, and how do you produce your videos?
I think it’s very important because people love to see visuals with new songs. My experience has proven that listeners are more likely to share music when it has a good music video to compliment it,
What in your opinion is the biggest barrier an artist like yourself, has to face and overcome, to gain any commercial success?
Being accepted as a serious Arab Hip Hop artist is the biggest barrier. People here will assume that you’re a bored Kuwaiti without passion that’s just trying to act cool. There is so much more to it though but I always try to use the American standard as a reference when I make music so that I can hopefully gain International exposure and success one day.
You played on the 22nd at Red Bull BC one – Kuwait, I honestly loved the performance but I will definitely need to know how did you feel about it and about the whole urban culture week that you have been part of?
Red Bull BC One was a great experience. Performing on a round stage was very interesting and it gave me an opportunity to address the crowd close up face to face which I really enjoyed. Furthermore, Urban Culture Week was phenomenal because it gave local artists a platform to showcase their work and talent. It also gave us an opportunity to network with each other.
You have performed @maljabahrain last weekend, can you tell us more about this experience?
The event was called “The Beat (from KSA to Bahrain)” and it was basically a concert for artists based in KSA, Kuwait and Bahrain. The whole experience was amazing and all the performers were both talented and humble. Personally, one of the most memorable highlights from that weekend was when I performed with Qusai.
In closing, tell us something about any projects and ideas you have in store or are already working on?
I am currently working on a new singles that will be released this summer.