The Saudi rapper Abdulaziz Al Maari initially started listening to rap to learn English. Today you can listen to his music on Soundcloud (aka Chicano40), or catch him onstage in Saudi Arabia..
KAWA: How did you start playing music?
Abdulaziz Al Maari: I had a strategy to learn the English language. Because back in the day, in 2004, I wasn’t able to speak good English. So one of my strategies is to learn how to speak English for this one and practicing every day and this is the only way to keep me practicing.
Why don’t we know more famous Saudi hip-hop artists / rappers?
Well, for Saudi rappers you can take a look at Qusai, who also comes from Saudi Arabia. Specifically today, he is known as one of the most famous Arabian artists. You can also look at Hussam Aseem (aka “Flipp” or “Flipperachi”) from Bahrain. These guys are internationally known.
How are things changing for musicians in Saudi Arabia?
It’s totally different! People educated themselves. Making beats sounds engineering, writing methods… It’s totally different from 10 years ago. It’s not like before. The Saudi community now is more open to the music, to cinema and everything.
Is the society more open to music?
The society is starting to accept Hip-Hop as a part of the art, which is not our traditional culture. There is an acceptance but you will find people who don’t accept Hip-Hop as well. But people start to accept Hip-Hop as a part of the arts, especially if it’s clean and if there are positive messages.