21-year-old electronic artist Imad has spent his life traveling between Beirut, Lebanon, and London. His rich and vibrant music is influenced by his Middle Eastern and African heritage, laying the foundation for his unique sonic palette, which he then adorns with melodic techno embellishments and deep house flares. His latest single "Makan" is the perfect example of this recipe, featuring Arabic poetry, electronic beats and instruments including djembes, kora, oud, and mbira.
"Makan" touches on the heartbreaking experience of having to leave your home and your loved ones for the greater good. Written with singer Samia shortly after the catastrophic explosion in Beirut, the lyrics ring true, as Imad was faced with the difficult and painful decision to escape the treacherous landscape in Lebanon. The artist shares, "The past year living in Lebanon has been extremely tough, with constant blackouts, wifi crashes, fuel crisis, economic collapse, it was very challenging to keep productive and be inspired. But it's through these moments where you learn the most about yourself, your craft and appreciate the small things in life."
The emotion-fueled single sends shivers down your spine, with the Arabic lyrics translating to "I will always remember them / Whilst crying and yearning / Whenever I close my eyes, I see the same place."
As well as his solo project, Imad recently announced his new label, Evil Eye. He hopes that by starting his own label, he will have the freedom to showcase more talent from the Middle East, a place where local music often gets overlooked by international audiences.
Listen to "Makan" below: