EXCLUSIVE: Meet Hadi, The Soulful Lebanese Singer, Through Our Eyes

Universal Music MENA signed Dubai based Lebanese Singer/Songwriter Hadi and released his first single ‘Invincible’, which Hadi wrote, recorded, and produced himself, along with an official music video. We managed to interview this Lebanese growing artist, and he seemed like the fluffiest person on earth. Here’s how it went:

Introduce yourself

My name is Hadi, my friends call me Hadi because nicknames are so 90’s. I’m a singer-songwriter from Lebanon currently based in Dubai.

How did you get started with playing – and creating – music? What got you to write songs?

I was always drawn to music as a listener, and I think there’s a family photo of me as a child murdering my parents’ hearing on a tiny Casio piano that was laying somewhere. I picked up the guitar about 16 years ago and found something that I truly connected and dedicated myself to. I’d try to write songs from very early on. I was a pretty shy and introverted kid, and music quickly became this stress-free world that provided a platform for me to express myself.

How would you describe your current genre?

I categorize myself as a singer-songwriter of pop music, essentially. I’m inspired by so much music so there are elements from different influences that come into play. I like to write lyrics about things that I’ve either experienced or that I connect to through others’ experiences.

Do you have favorite places or times where you like to write?

I’ve actually got my home studio where I write, record, produce, mix, and master all of my work. It’s great because I can immediately seize the moment when a song needs to be written and when ideas are flowing through me. It’s such a cool thing to have instant access to this, as it is also the cause of many sleepless nights obsessing over kick drums and reverb tails.

Would you say your country helped you grow?

Absolutely, when I started playing I was in Kuwait and I’ve moved to Dubai about five years ago. So, in addition to Lebanon, I think being in every location has been really good for me. Be it the ability to play shows, interact with fans, and also be around a growing community of creators is absolutely inspiring and moving.

How long does it usually take you to write a song?

I think ‘Invincible’ was written within around 30 minutes. The main guitar groove happened first and I instantly knew that a song was happening. The vocal hook followed, and then the vocal melodies started coming together. Aside from some minor changes in the words the whole song came to life within a short 30 minutes.

I think that a lot of good songs just write themselves and it’s about being there on the ready when that inspiration hits. As I mentioned before, having a home studio setup has been instrumental in taking those little sparks and turning them into songs, right then and there.

I’m not trying to say that every song can be written in 30 minutes, there’s one particular song that I’m working on right now, which I’ve got the verse done for – but my gut says the chorus needs to marinate in the internal feels before it is ready to be turned into words and melodies, so now we wait! I never try to rush the process, the songs will write themselves and come together in a stress-free and flowing way if we just step back and allow that process to happen.

Which musicians and songwriters have influenced you most? What are your favorite albums?

I have and continue to listen to so much music from different genres and the names of artists that influence me are constantly growing and changing. However, there are two bands that have been on the playlist in every music-playing device I’ve pretty much ever owned, and they are Coldplay and Linkin Park. I love those two bands so much for numerous reasons, primarily because they are constantly evolving and growing within themselves in ways that are completely outside of what you’d expect them to do, but also remain to be genuine and true to themselves.

What are your plans & hopes for the future with regard to your music?

I want to play a whole lot of shows and share my music with people from across the globe. I’ve got a lot of songs written that I’m looking forward to releasing through this year. I’ve got some pretty big dreams and I believe that when we put our heart towards something it just finds a way to happen.

How do you come up with a song?

When there isn’t that expectation of “come up with something now”, this is pretty much the same approach that works for me today. Whenever I “try” to write a song, it sounds like I’m trying…but when I’m just playing about on the guitar and not in an “expectations” state, things start to come together and songs get written.

Who gave you the support to keep writing in the beginning? Who did you play the early songs for?

My brothers have always been there from the very start, they’ve heard every single song idea that I’ve ever written or recorded. Additionally, I had a classmate back in school, who would really pay attention to the music that I was making from very early on, which I’m very grateful for.

What do you feel like when you play one of your songs and people applaud?

That’s when it all comes together, when you play your songs and sing your words to people and you can see them move, smile, and vibe along to what you are saying and doing. There’s nothing like the connection that happens during a show, it almost feels like everyone in the crowd is wired to you and you get waves of colors coming right at you, I love it!

Are you more of a singer or more of a song-writer?

I definitely started off as a songwriter, but I’ve become a singer-songwriter in recent years. I never really thought about being a singer, it wasn’t until about 4 – 5 years ago that I started to put myself out there further and write songs for me to sing on.

Professional songwriters spend years on their craft. Why not use their songs?

As much as I love to learn covers here and there, there’s something different about writing your own words and melodies. There is a need in me to express myself and to tell stories, whether they are mine or stories that I’ve come across. Writing songs is probably one of my favorite things to do.

What’s your advice to other aspiring artists?

Just be yourself, believe in who you are. Work hard but also work smart. And mostly importantly put nothing but love into what you are doing, it’ll make you happy and that happiness is contagious and can be felt from miles away.

WE SAID THIS: Listen to the rest of his tracks here!