At the tender age of 17, Jad Atoui – brother of electro-acoustic pioneer Tarek Atoui – has already started carving out a place for himself in Beirut’s electronic scene. Making live appearances alongside some big international names, he makes music inspired by everything from ambient and IDM, to noise and dubstep.
When did you start making music?
Three years ago. My brother introduced me to this scene and I was very interested in electronic music so I decided to start producing. I started doing experimental guitar, creating my own songs and then I started using Ableton Live software to produce my own music.
Your brother, Tarek Atoui, is a big name in the electro-acoustic scene, has he had an influence on your sound?
Yeah I was influenced by my brother, especially in noise and experimental music. His techniques have influenced me, but I use them in my own style. Now when I produce music it’s very wide, I just make music for pleasure. With time I hope to create my own style and to innovate the scene, because for me art is a way to contribute something new.
What do you start with when you compose music?
I start with my own feelings and I’m influenced by other artists. I’m not only influenced by music but also by art, such as Ella and Maria Kassab.. When I want to express an idea, I express it through my music. I consider music my weapon; I use it to defend an idea, to express myself.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m thinking about releasing an album, and I’m working on different sets for concerts and projects with different artists here in Lebanon, like collaborations with Jawad Nawfal of Munma, Radio KVM and Sharif Sehanoui. I’m also working with Akousmatic system.
You’ve played alongside established experimental artists, such as Belgium’s ‘Kirdec’ and Singapore’s ‘One Man Nation’. Was it daunting?
No, I considered it an experience in many ways. It’s very interesting to meet and play with artists that have more experience because I learn from them.
Do you think Beirut has a strong electronic scene?
I don’t think it’s strong enough but it’s growing now and it’s recent. There’s Jawad Nawfal and my brother who are the pioneers of the electronic scene here in Lebanon. That’s why I’m working with Acousmatik and working on my music, to help the scene to become bigger. Our aim in Acousmatik is to support the underground scene here in Lebanon.
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