How are you man ?
Tired but I’m fine.
Happy Belated Birthday ! You turned 21 couple days ago and you just finished you first Solo tour, great way to turn 21. How was it ?
It was incredible, it feels like the best feeling ever, I’m dying to get back on tour and see my fans again. There’s nothing like the live experience, that exchange between you and your audience.
Earlier this year you were the opening act for Camilla Cabello and Justin Timberlake European tour, tell me about it.
Man it was amazing ! Just being around such talented artists who done a lot of miraculous things in their career. Just being around them was a blessing.
Was it stressful to open for such big popstars?
Not stressful, I never look at things like that but it was definitely a challenge.
What did you learn from Justin ?
I learned so from Justin ! Seeing how he interacts with the crowd, his stage presence. It was very interesting to witness as an artist.
A month ago you released the remix of your song “ Beautiful” featuring Camilla Cabello. How was it to work with her on a song ?
Amazing. Very cool and super talented artist, she brought her own flavor to the song.
2018 was definitely a big year for you, you dropped your first album “ Cosmic”. Why this name?
It felt like the perfect combination to my songs and also personally I’m so obsessed with space.
Why are you obsessed with space?
I’ve always been curious and it just come from me always wondering “why?” And space is the ultimate “why”. It’s endless and very intriguing.
My favorite songs on your album at the moment are “Myself” and “Honest” what’s yours ?
It’s so hard for me to pick up one because they all are a real part of my life, real experiences and situations I’ve been thru so to pick one is very tough.
You seem very open about your feelings and your emotions. Is it something important for you to be open like that in your creative process ?
Yeah 100%, I completely got rid of the wall between what’s personal and what I’m choosing to share in my art because I wanna be the best at creating and to do that you need to take the most emotions and the most feelings you can give and be able to put it into your craft.
To continue on your creative process, Do you write before you got the beat or after you have it ? What’s the process ?
It’s always random because I produce the music too, sometimes I’ll make the entire beat to a song, sometimes one little melody and I’ll have the rest of the song playing in my head. Later I’ll add the percussions then produce the drums. It’s very random, different every time.
How much are you involved in your visuals because there’s a lot of details and they are very elaborate.You seem to be very meticulous about what you want and the product that you wanna deliver.
100% involve in the visuals. I always have a specific vision of what I want for my songs and my visuals.
"I completely got rid of the wall between what’s personal and what I’m choosing to share in my art because I wanna be the best at creating and to do that you need to take the most emotions and the most feelings you can give and be able to put it into your craft"
What was the inspiration behind the « Beautiful » video.
I wanted to make something very classic feeling, almost biblical in a sense but in a modern interpretation where in this story an angel is saving me. A visual representation of what the song means to me.
The album has been 2 years and a half in the making.
Yeah man, almost 3.
Are you happy with the final product ?
Oh yeah, I’m so in love with is, everything on it turned out perfect, I see more and more people listening to it. I’m very excited for people to wake up to it.
The first time I heard “Honest” I thought it was The Weeknd, do you get that a lot.
Yes on Honest I get that a lot not much on the other songs.
Who are your inspirations ? I heard Michael Jackson.
Yes ! Very inspired by Michael, Prince, Kanye, Drake, Childish Gambino, J Cole, Guns & Roses... I’m inspired by such a diversity of artists.
What did you think of the New Childish Gambino video ( Feels like Summer )?
So sick ! Loved that visual man. He’s next level.
Right now if you have to collaborate with one artist who would it be ?
I’d like to get in with J Cole.
It’ll be a great connection for sure because both your worlds are very intimate and you could come up with a very special thing.
Yeah man, hopefully it’ll happen.
What do you got coming up ?
More music ! Continue growing my craft.
You grew up in Michigan and now you live in LA, how did moving in Los Angeles influence your music?
Everything man, just being around so many hangry and talented artists, the freedom of being yourself without being judged.
You come from a Lebanese family. Did you bring that cultural heritage in your music ?
Yes, it definitely influenced me as a Human for sure because Lebanese culture is very family oriented. Doesn’t really matter if it’s your blood or neighbors it’s the importance of building a community. I didn’t have that much Family growing up but I’ve learned how to build a strong community around me that keeps me grounded.
You learned the guitar when you were 5 years old. Do you remember the emotion you got when you first have your guitar?
I remember the exact moment, how my Dad was dressed, the room I was in, sitting in my basement he walked in suited up he brought back a “Oud” the arabic guitar. I played the life out of it.
What message/ advice for the upcoming artists?
Be yourself, not worry about people’s expectations. Do you what you want, you’ll be happy and hopefully successful.
Interview: Sofiane Ait Slimane