As Kuwait’s music scene expands, so do the sounds of the local talent. Musicians in the region are experimenting with different genres that don’t necessarily fall into one specific category, but a mishmash of eclectic goodness. Upon hearing Hamad Artie’s newly released debut album, Moody’s Shuffle, the back-to-basics-with-a-twist sound is automatically pinpointed. Inspired by childhood family favorite artists such as Phil Collins, RHCP, Metallica and Queen, the Kuwaiti singer/songwriter and video game aficionado beautifully meshes his passions for music and art into one soulful album that plays on different sub-genres of music; “It’s very diverse in many ways. It ranges from folky and earthy to electronic to hip hop elements to just totally weird. On Moody’s Shuffle, I had the opportunity to really show my true self. There are some angry songs, there are some romantic songs, there’s a bit of sadness, there’s a little hope, there’s even a little bit of comedy in there. But it all comes from the same world, and I think this is what makes this album special.” His love for all things creative is the main factor of his talent. When he isn’t making music, he draws or paints – if he’s not in a creative mood, he’ll play video games. At any rate, it’s evident that these elements of interest marry beautifully to create a musical masterpiece by a truly creative individual “It is an urge. I always feel the need to write or compose just one more song. I like being in my own world. I honestly don’t know much about the latest trends or the coolest new gadgets. I’d rather lock myself up and create something.” bazaar is glad he created Moody’s Shuffle, and we’re sure that within days the country will be jamming to this album in the morning traffic on their way to work.
How did your musical journey begin?
As a kid, I was always fascinated by cassette tape packaging; I loved how shiny and colorful they looked, and I always felt the need to do something with these tapes. At the age of ten, a bunch of kids and myself jammed with utensils, trashcans and boxes, singing funny little songs as we recorded ourselves. At twelve, my father showed me how to use tracks to create a song on his computer. At fourteen, I built my own drum kit out of paint buckets. My mother was so impressed by how creative I could be when I really wanted something, so she convinced my father to buy me a drum kit, and that’s when I started my first band as the drummer. We played many shows in Kuwait, but we split three years later, and that’s when I decided to go solo.
What/Who inspires you to write your music and lyrics?
I am mostly inspired by my own experiences. I am a very nostalgic person. I often find myself digging through old photos or walking around places from my past for hours by myself. It gives me a great rush of excitement and a sad, unbearable heartache at the same time. It’s just weird, I don’t know how to explain it, but it gives me a great deal of inspiration.
Is the final sound of a musical track an individual or group effort?
Most electronic artists today do almost everything by themselves, whereas traditional rock bands prefer it to be a team project, with each member bringing something to the table. To me, the producer plays a massive role in what the song sounds like in the end, which is why I handpicked my producer, Khalid Al-Mansour. I didn’t know him very well before working on Moody’s Shuffle, but all I knew was that he’s one of the best producers in the country and I had to record in his studio. Thankfully, I was blessed with the opportunity to work with such an amazing person.
Who/what in your early beginnings influenced your music?
In my early beginnings, aside from my endless love for video game music, I was influenced by a wide variety of artists from many different genres. Ranging from pop to rock and heavy metal, to rap and hip-hop. I liked music with a lot of energy and emotion. I always liked good beats. As a child, I always imagined “if I had my own TV show, what would the intro be like?” I used to come up with a lot of funny, cool stuff back then.
In your opinion, what is the hardest challenge you face in your musical journey?
I have faced many difficulties, and one of them was learning how to sing. I was not a singer before this album. I knew how to write songs and play my instruments but singing was new to me, so it took me some time and a lot of practice to be able to pull it off. Another challenge for me was getting my music out there for people without being too pushy. I’d rather have someone discover my music by accident than to have someone listen to me because I asked. I’ve seen a lot of bands overdo it, and it’s almost like they’re forcing me to listen to their music. I probably would listen to it eventually, but none of my favorite artists shoved their music into my face, so there’s clearly a better way to do it.
How has the local community reacted to your sound?
Surprisingly well! It took us around sixteen months to complete Moody’s Shuffle and I remember when I finally got the master from my producer I was so disappointed, I nearly cried. I called my producer in the morning and told him how I felt about the album. And he said “that’s natural, you’ve been working on it for so long. But trust me, it’s an amazing album and has been on repeat in my car.” Two weeks after the release I was contacted by 99.7’s DJ Maha, telling me that she was going to play songs from my album on her show. I couldn’t believe it! I was thrilled – it was such an honor for me.
Do you feel that music should always serve a specific purpose?
I think there’s always a purpose somewhere. Sometimes an artist will create that purpose intentionally and other times, it’s the listener who does that.
What are some of your favorite tracks that you’ve worked on, and why?
“Breathe In, Breathe Out”- I always felt something different about this song when I was recording the album, and it turned out to be everyone’s favorite too. “I Was Wrong”- It’s such a short, little catchy tune! It’s to the point, and it is something anyone can relate to. “I’d Do It For You”- This is the first song my producer and I composed together. When we were recording it, we had all the lights in the studio turned off. We really set the mood for this one and it turned out great. It has an urban beat and a monster bass-line.
What would you like to accomplish in the future?
I would like to have a huge catalogue of amazing work that would one day inspire millions of people.