We go behind the scenes with the local record director to find out what it takes to be successful in the music industry today.
He is a hip-hop radio host and Saudi blogger, although Hassane Dennaoui could be said to have had his greatest impact on the UAE music scene as an executive record producer. Big Hass, as he is professionally known, regularly releases some of the most notorious beats and his latest, Asha Eedak (Bless Your Hands), starring Dubai lead Somali artist Freek and Iraqi-Canadian Narcy, with help from Egyptian producer Big Moe, is no different. A calling card of Hass’s work: bringing together local musicians and putting their diverse talents in the pot to create a unique sound, set the bar high on the stage. We caught up with the music maker to find out his secret.
What can you tell us about Ashat Eedak? Why did you think it was right to put it together now?
In order to better understand what led to this new collaborative song Ashat Eedak, I would like to go back to my early days as a blogger. When I started Re-volt Blog in 2007, I was inspired by Arab hip-hop artists Narcy, Shadia Mansour, Omar Offendum and Lowkey. They were the main catalyst for my chosen path and the reason my education and hip-hop fascination continued to grow. It is therefore not surprising that when the opportunity arose to support one of them, it happened naturally, as a duty, as an honor. In this particular case, it was Narcy who matched the location. Ashat Eedak, which means “live or bless your hands” in Arabic, brings together Narcy and Freek. Both super fans of each other, the chemistry was there and there was room for experimentation and flexing with witty and memorable bars. The rhythm was provided by producer Big Moe, who has been a big part of this project and alumni that I gave up. Ashet Eedak is a tribute to two great MCs, showcasing their skills in a kaleidoscope of ways ranging from self-tuned pitches, strong punchlines, and a catchy verse.
Tell us about what an executive producer does? What are the challenges you face?
In the region, there is still a lack of information on what the title of executive producer really represents. Through my contribution to the independent music scene by dropping collaborative songs, I try to empower and educate the masses on the role of an EP. Sometimes when I’m on an IG-Live session, my first answer and explanation to the question “What was your role in this project?” »Is that I do it« à la DJ Khaled style ». But in reality, it takes a lot of work, micromanagement and patience to put together a song project, especially when there are a lot of artists involved. An executive producer brings to the table all the elements necessary for a smooth running of a project and follows the project from A to Z. It is also important to keep things fluid and always make sure that all parties are happy with the outcome. final.
How would you describe the music scene in Dubai?
It’s like a community of passionate and very talented artists. I can tell you that Dubai is diverse and finding a sound can be difficult, but this is the journey artists might have to take. Respect for artists who never stop trying to perfect their craft and find their identity through music.
Do you think Arabic music has enough air / stage time here?
There is a new generation of young independent Arab talent creating fresh Arabic music but they don’t have enough airtime or not at all. They mainly rely on social media platforms and streaming services. Although we live in a different time when airtime may not be as vital and important as it used to be, radio still has its charm. No matter what generation you belong to, young or old, I have noticed that when an artist sees their song on the radio, it generates a different and more fulfilling satisfaction. Maybe we are heavily influenced by the West and the famous sayings we hear in movies like: “Mom, I did it on the radio! I would love to see UAE radio stations broadcast regional music without putting it in a special box or having a “special local segment” for it, but rather mixing it with the rest of the international rotation. This is what will really change!
In your years on the UAE and CCG music scene, what has been your greatest triumph and best memory?
The bonds and friendships that I have been able to forge with the artists have been among my greatest achievements. I am also amazed to witness the evolution and diversity of Arab rap in the region we currently live in. It’s hard to identify a better memory and a great achievement as my ambitions are a work in progress and I think there are always bigger things to come if you stay consistent and passionate about what you do.
Who would you most like to work with in the industry and why?
The list is long ! Right off the bat, it would be an honor to work with Syrian artist Bu Kolthoum because of how he was able to create a niche fan base that truly believes in his art. Other names to mention are Marwan Pablo and Afroto out of Egypt because I love how the producers were able to merge Egyptian cultural sounds with trap / hip-hop beats. And finally, it would be an honor to work with Arab hip-hop first lady Shadia Mansour, for her fierce, hardcore and punchy lyrics and performance.
Has the online domain created more opportunities for you or damaged the music?
It certainly created more opportunities. I started releasing music under my name last year as an executive producer, and so far I have seven and more records to come. Being online has extended my reach and allowed me to truly connect with anyone.
Who would you give credit to for being an inspiration?
Every artist that I have met during my career and when I say artists, I mean singers, rappers, producers, sound engineers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators, all. But above all my son and my one and only touched me a lot and always pushed me to be the best version of myself.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to be successful in the music business today?
Don’t wait for validation from anyone. Don’t make music to please anyone. Create art that represents you and have fun!