Some great sounds have been pumping out of Kuwait’s sound system! It’s been said time and time again that the local music scene is expanding to great lengths that we’ve never thought we’d see before, and each time we see something great come from the local artists, we’re blown away. This is exactly what happened when we first saw DJ Outlaw’s latest mix, Abeeha, the fun tune that was a result of a monumental collaboration between some of Kuwait’s finest musicians: Carol Souki, Daffy, Homoud Nasser, and Flipperachi.
These names aren’t unfamiliar to anybody who keeps up with Kuwait’s music scene, but for the sake of introductions, we’ll let you in on their brilliant backgrounds. Carol (Coco), sports a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and Music Therapy from Berklee College of Music, and brings her spicy Venezuelan flavor to the mix. She is widely known for her impressive voice range along with countless collaborations in both Kuwait and Lebanon at various private and public events and music festivals.
Flipperachi, (AKA: Flipp), has been with Outlaw productions since 2008, where he decided to take music more seriously and put his written lyrics to action. Since then, he has collaborated with so many artists on a local, regional and even international level, with even the likes of Run DMC’s DMC!
And then there’s Daffy – if you grew up in Kuwait during the early 2000s, this man needs no introduction. Coined “the King of Hip Hop” by reputation, the Army of One alum joined Outlaw Productions full time in 2014 and his already impressive musical resume has been taken to the other level with fun tracks such as “Shino Al Kalam Hatha”, more collaborations with Coco and Flipp, and even working with one of his musical idols, Miami’s Khalid Al Randi.
And Homoud Nasser, a legend in his own right, is the key element in “Abeeha”. Based off of the Kuwaiti musician’s hit song “Mathmoon”, his collaboration with the three artists has been countlessly described as “an honor” and an “unforgettable experience”.
“Abeeha” is a project that showcases the talents of these unique individuals. Along with the original samplings of “Mathmoon”, each collaborator wrote their own verses to add in their own touch. But what is it like, being behind the scenes of a musical development such as a music video – especially for a hit tune that we personally believe is going to make big, internationally? Homoud, Coco, Flipp and Daffy were eager to give their opinions.
What inspired you to collaborate with the other artists on this particular song, Abeeha?
Daffy: I love remaking classic records that I grew up with, so it was great getting this chance to collaborate with Homoud Nasser to create a track based off of his hit “Mathmoon”. Of course, no one could do what Flipp does on a track, so it’s a given that he would be on it! Coco’s Latin flare spices up the track and adds something extra to it.
How does each individual artist featured contribute to making this song and video great?
Flipp: We’re all bringing something different to the table with our flows, sound, delivery, and characters. At the end of the day, that’s what made this track different. All the feedback we’ve been getting about this collaboration is insane!
Coco: Dedication, creativity, patience, and having fun in creating such a great number is what is making it shine. Homoud Nasser places his romantic melodic Arabic lines, Daffy created a dance move, beat, lyrics, and overall groove that motivated us to want to work on this track, and Flipp’s smooth blends between Bahraini and English slang adds the element of fun and familiarity for people in the region. Also, my Latina touch provides an international sound and simple, repetitive lyrics that people can sing along with.
Can you explain the context of the video?
Daffy: This is where we completely let loose and went crazy, which is always the best part! In the video, we’re just trying to get the girl’s attention and having fun with our characters. We’re talking to her in Arabic and she’s talking back in Spanish, not understanding what we’re saying.
This looks like it was a lot of fun to make! How was the overall experience of creating the video?
Homoud: It was such a new experience for me, but it was great. We all had so much fun shooting it.
Flipp: It was a very light video to shoot! This time though, I was shooting my scenes in Bahrain while the rest were in Kuwait rather than all of us shooting together. It would’ve been even more fun if we shot in one place!
What’s the most difficult thing about this industry?
Flipp: Being in this part of the world where the industry hasn’t yet developed for the type of music we make, the challenge is to pave a new way and build something different. We always try to come up with new ideas, and sometimes the most difficult challenge is topping what we’d done in the previous project. But regardless of geographic location, it’s a tough industry overall in terms of staying relevant. We’ve seen many great artists disappear over the years for failing to keep up with how the industry moves.
What does the production of this video, and other musical ventures say to you about Kuwait’s current stance with the local music scene?
Daffy: I’ve noticed that Kuwait has been very accepting of new ideas and new styles of music from local artists. People’s support for us specifically has been crazy. We understand what people want, and we try to deliver that in every project we put out.
Coco: Thanks to the movement that Daffy and Outlaw productions has established over the past two years with professional quality videos and tracks, it’s enabling the music scene to boom and be recognized throughout the Middle East and the West! Also, since we have been performing our own original material locally and internationally, it helps to showcase the amazing talents that are available in our region.
How do you feel like Kuwait has grown musically over the past two decades?
Daffy: The scene is definitely growing in Kuwait and the region as a whole, and it’s only going to keep growing. I see fresh, young faces starting to create, which is great. It’s the only way we can build a real industry over time.
Homoud: Music is like the stock market. The stocks go up and down sometimes and it’s always a risk – but the clever thing to do is to find what’s new and introduce it to the audience to keep them interested.
Flipp: Whether it’s Kuwait or Bahrain or the region in general, there’s been a lot of growth in the artists that are around and the art they deliver. I’m impressed with how far along we’ve come as a scene especially in the past few years. There’s a lot more variety in the type of music that’s being put out from local and regional artists, and it’s making us become more and more internationally recognized.
Coco: A lot of independent artists are rising producing their own material and collaborating with other local talents to produce a variety of genres such as Blues, Bahri Jazz music, Hip Hop and RnB, and currently new talents stepping out and making Trap music. It’s been a challenge since unfortunately the scene is not always supported, but for the past five years there’s been a growing need for live music and now we have platforms to perform live. Radio stations in Kuwait also play a big role in exposing and promoting local talents and talents around the region.
Do you envision collaborating with each other in the near future?
Flipp: Definitely, we’re always making music together. It’s what sets us apart and makes us different.
Daffy: Flipp and I are working on the new album and new singles that are coming out soon. There’s an album project from Coco too, so stay tuned for that.
Coco: I personally love working with this team because we understand one another musically, and help one another create new material, promote one another’s work and collaborate whenever possible in various projects around the region. As they say when words fail music speaks and that’s how deep our musical connection is.
Homoud: I’m currently working on my own projects, including a new music video and a commercial, launching a week before the New Year – but, I would also love to recreate something with this amazing group in the future!
Abeeha was mixed by DJ Outlaw, directed and produced by Daffy, and shot by Jassim Al Harban, Jaan Al Balushi, and Khalid Al Khulaifi. It can be found on YouTube here.