“This album is a narrow portal into my dormant personality. Each track crosses borders and genres – sparking various emotions and feelings in its wake.” Zahed Sultan
Some of us know him from high school, others, maybe, as one of the creative minds behind en.v. Or, maybe even, as part of the duo that brings us the ever-popular, ever-growing REUSE event. Now, we also know him as Zahed Sultan, recording artist. A creative chameleon, in every sense of the word, it seems nothing can stand in the way of his vision(s). From eco-friendly living, to social responsibility and now music, Zahed has proven that all it takes is a little bit of vision and a whole lot of gumption.
How did your musical journey begin?
My interest in music sparked at a very early age. I began to explore this interest at the age of 14 – playing DJ gigs for local parties (mixed as well as segregated) in Kuwait.
What/Who inspires you to write your music and lyrics?
Musically, I have developed (and continue developing) strong connections with everything from raw traditional music to underground sounds that have a cult following.
I am most influenced by producers and artists who have strayed from convention and broken musical boundaries such as Radiohead, UNKLE, Damon Albarn, Kanye West, DJ Sasha, Massive Attack, and Bjork, to name a few.
With my debut album Hi Fear, Lo Love the intention was to challenge the norm.
Is the final sound of a musical track an individual or group effort?
That decision lies entirely in the hands of the track’s “maker.” For me, collaboration is key; working with individuals that are skilled in their art form will only enhance the final output.
Who/What in your early beginnings influenced your music?
Life…in its entirety.
In your opinion, what was the hardest challenge you faced in your musical career so far?
The music industry is highly fragmented today – thanks to a handful of entities that have taken power out of the hands of corporate decision makers and put them in hands of the musicians / artists. It’s a great time to be (or want to be) in music. My hardest challenge is to be able to carve a niche for myself within a massive web of aspiring (and existing) talent – using the tools that are available to me.
How has the Middle Eastern world reacted to your sound?
The jury is still out on that (in my eyes). Feedback, in all its forms, encourages you to be honest with yourself and search deep within you to find the words, melodies, beats, and more that are a true expression of who you are in a given period of time that will best resonate with your intended audience(s).
Do you feel that music should always serve a specific purpose?
No. Music is the universal language that is open to interpretation by the listener – that’s the beauty of it.
What are some of your favorite tracks, and why?
This very minute?Haha… I’m constantly searching for inspiring, daring music in the most obvious and obscure places. My favorite up and coming / recently discovered artist is Santiago / New York based “Nicolas Jaar”.
What is your dream performance space and destination?
Royal Albert Hall, London, England (It will happen!).
What would you like to accomplish in the future?
Too much to fit into a single lifetime! Simply put, to continue to have the ability and opportunity to create – in all its wondrous and interactive forms.
Will Zahed be performing live in Kuwait? (perhaps at REUSE 5.0)
I’m in the process of planning the formation of a band. I’m hoping by late 2012 / early 2013 we can go live with a sensory / experiential “live show.” If I get governmental permission to do so is another story!