Later May Posting

IMG_3322Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 10.43.17 AMAfter Mashrou’ Leila’s April tour and Sound of Music, we ended April with a DJ gig with Poliakov.
I’m not particulary a fan of DJs and electronic music, but James Zabiela was a bit different I guess. He creates everything on the spot, and seeing him play was like watching a kid plays with his legos and games. His energy was superb, and he was adorable with the public, taking the time to go around and take pictures with almost everyone.
Working as a freelancer in Beirut, you get a little time off from time to time. May was pleasant and slow, after a rush of two months, with gigs back to back and so little sleep. Took part in a charity event, a rallye paper with my former university ALBA, followed up on my music lessons before going back to small work.
May started with an event done in memory of Melanie, a young “sister” we all lost in February. She was an outstanding athlete and music was a big part of her life, so her friends put together a rugby tournament in her name and ended it with a concert with Loopstache, Adonis and the Coolcumbers, who in my opinion aren’t known enough. Melow, you were missed.

The road called again at the end of May, and I joined Mashrou’ Leila on a small tour again: Montpelier was quiet and cozy; the concert at Festival Arabesques was not as quiet though. We then boarded for the World Village Festival in Helsinki, Finland. We were surprised by how calm the city and the people were there. The biggest surprise was watching the crowd gather from all over the festival area and reaching around 10,000 people dancing to Leila’s tunes, pulling out their umbrellas and jumping under the rain to the same rhythm as Hamed. We sold out the CDs there. Helsinki was an awesome surprise!

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Paris was kind of like a pit stop in that small tour. We all know this city well and have family and friends all around, it didn’t seem like a hassle. The Institut des Cultures Islam is a small venue, it sold out fast to 180 people. The concert felt like a private jam session with friends. The tour ended with Bern in Switzerland, playing at Bee-flat Turnhalle. We didn’t have much time there, but we made an effort to finish soundcheck fast and walk around. I personally liked it. Clean and tidy city with an awesome view after the town’s square.

IMG_4360The concert was pretty fun there, especially after we were treated to an awesome dinner backstage with the crew, and a race between Firas and Bob to see who would hit Snapchat first. I was reminded of my mom asking me what facebook was when I had to explain to the guys what Snaps were and how it worked.
Between the gigs, hotels, quick meals on trains and planes, Firas and Carl playing on my Trivia Crack, I value the time I spend with these guys and having this job that allows to see much more than you expect.
Went back to Beirut, leaving the band to record their fourth album, which by the way, will blow your mind.

Oh, and my brother graduated from Med School.


Stay With the Good Vibes

Before the big BOUM we started last week, we were on the road again, testing waters for a project I want to launch soon.

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We gathered up with some friends and the result wasn’t that good on the goals I have set for that day, but the vibes and enthusiasm were there.
So we took the first step, and we’ve learned from our mistakes so we can take the next one. The team is ready to go forward, they’re really hyped on it actually. I can’t reveal more for the moment, it’s just one more teaser for you to sit on the edge and wait for that idea I’ve had in mind for a couple of years now…

Imagephoto3On another note, I have been working with Wissam to finalize the product that gym has been wanting with a small idea of the place and the limitations or freedom we had.

We worked on a first draft, and from that we were able to pull out from our client the exact feel they wanted. It wasn’t really what we have worked on, but we knew exactly (pretty much) what they’re expecting.
We’re back on track for that, and are clear of the direction we’re going in now.

Finished up the week with a 4 a Cause meeting to get our year started again. This time, I’m giving the reigns to my team of volunteers. They have learned so much in the past two years and it’s about trust. (Let’s hope they don’t screw up!) There will be music, but not as you’ve already seen/heard it in our past events. We just believe music is a mean that unites people no matter what.

It works perfectly for our country when we see, every weekend, people getting on the dance floor to the beats of the DJ or people at the bar in front of the small bands on stage, and forgetting their political and background differences at the door!

Let’s hope this time, the means for unison will grow larger.