Omar Basaad is a very well-known Saudi Arabian DJ and producer in the Middle East’s ever-growing electronic music scene. The artist, born in Jeddah with Turkish and Saudi roots, has been producing music since 2002. Omar Basaad became the first artist from Saudi Arabia to performed at Tomorrowland and Creamfields last year. Additionally, he released his newest single, “Without You” on Friday, July 3 and the track is a vibrant merge of tech-house and progressive. Here is One EDM’s exclusive interview with future global superstar Omar Basaad from Saudi Arabia. “Without You” is available for download and stream via Coexist Records.
Kenny Ngo: How is the electronic music scene like in Saudi Arabia?
Omar Basaad: The electronic music scene in Saudi Arabia is big from underground to mainstream. Last December, Riyadh hosted an electronic dance music festival called “MDL Beast Festival”. Over 400,000 people attended and the biggest names in the game performed there.
How did you start your DJ career?
I started when I was 14. I later learned programming and later developed my self in production and began DJ-ing.
You became the first Saudi DJ to perform at Tomorrowland and Creamfields. How did it feel for you?
It’s incredible becoming part of history. Music unites people. Tomorrowland and Creamfields show that any talented artist can make it, and they will support it.
Were there any reactions or news in Saudi Arabia which talked about your performances at those festivals?
It was instantly picked by up by the media, praising the achievement. It was a huge buzz!
How was it like producing your latest single “Without You”?
“Without you” was one of those songs where inspiration hits instantly. That’s how I started working on the song. The lyrics of the song are so relevant to now; being without the person you want to be with due to social distancing.
How different is the sound of “Without You” compared to the tracks you released earlier this year, “Memba” and “Technicolor“?
Huge difference. “Technicolor” is a pop track that had tremendous impact, “Memba” is a big room song with African vocal roots. I’m a diverse artist, and I like to explore different styles of music.
How do you describe your musical style now compared to your musical style when you started your career?
Starting my career, I was focusing on one type of style and limiting my self. Right now, I explore all sorts of styles from afrobeat to r&b and dance.
What was your childhood like in Jeddah?
My childhood was all about sports playing around and going to the beach. Which maybe it reflects most of my sounds like an island vibe.
Aside from having Saudi roots, you also have Turkish ancestry. How did it feel having both Saudi and Turkish cultures in your life?
It’s great! I get to know the more sounds of two different cultures by root.
In regards to Saudi football (soccer), which clubs in Jeddah do you like? Al-Ahli or Al-Ittihad?
Always Al Ahli!