Hip-Hop From The Middle East… Introducing Trak (@trakonline)

trak

Did you always want to be a rap­per? If not, at what point did you decide this was the path to go down?

As long as I can remem­ber I’ve always wanted to make music. i really got engulfed into it at a young age and the bug just nev­er left. First I star­ted by simply writ­ing down words, a basic form of poetry really and as I grew older that evolved into rap­ping and ever since then music and rap in par­tic­u­lar became my life.

Can you give us some back­story about your child­hood and teen­age years?

I’m Egyp­tian, but was born in Doha, Qatar, I then moved to Tokyo, Japan for around 5 years, and then returned back to Doha. Tokyo was my main intro­duc­tion to music. I went to an Amer­ic­an School while I was liv­ing there; I must’ve been the only Egyp­tian kid in that entire school. Being sur­roun­ded by hun­dreds of kids mainly from Amer­ica and Japan meant I was sur­roun­ded by all types of music and Hip Hop being one of them. This was the pro­logue of my music rela­tion­ship. I then con­tin­ued most of my child­hood and teen years in Doha, where I spent most of my time being involved in music some­how or some­way.

When you did your first tracks, how did you get hold of your instru­ment­als? Did you know a pro­du­cer or were you buy­ing beats online? 

At the begin­ning, I didn’t even know pro­du­cers sold beats online. Most of the instru­ment­als I used to get were basic­ally instru­ment­al ver­sions of actu­al songs by oth­er artists. I think I was 13 or 14 at the time. That’s when I made my first songs — I remem­ber one of my earli­est ones was to the beat of Mos Def- ‘Trav­el­ling Man’ and Jay-Z ‘Feel­ing It’. I was using a banged-up laptop, and a mad cheap mic, I used tis­sue paper as a pop fil­ter and used auda­city for a soft­ware.  As time passed by I real­ized there’s 100s of pro­du­cer selling beats online and star­ted meet­ing pro­du­cers but before that I just took it upon myself to learn how to make beats. I still do make beats but cur­rently focus more on the rap side of things

On your Sound­cloud inform­a­tion, you say that this is a time when Hip-Hop is rein­vent­ing itself, can you give your opin­ion on where hip-hop is going?

I think Hip Hop will always rein­vent itself, I think it’s impossible to say where some­thing this big is going, so many dif­fer­ent streams and “sub-gen­res” diver­ging into their own space. But what I do know is that hip hop will con­tin­ue to evolve and will be here to stay for a very long time. Hope­fully forever.

If you could col­lab­or­ate with any artist at the moment, who would it be?

 Kendrick, J Cole, Eminem, Jay Z, Bryson Tiller,  Phar­rell,  just off the top of my head and in no par­tic­u­lar order — oh also School­boy Q , Ab-Soul, SZA and Jhene Aiko.

What is the hip-hop scene like in the middle east? 

Like any oth­er scene it’s grow­ing, slowly but surely. But It still seems to be frag­men­ted and dis­con­nec­ted. The area still seems to lack the basic infra­struc­ture to grow and con­nect artists and pro­du­cers and every­one in between . There’s still a huge lack in hav­ing dif­fer­ent plat­forms to show­case tal­ent  and the amount of tal­ent has increased in amount and qual­ity. There are still min­im­um oppor­tun­it­ies for these people to be able to sus­tain mak­ing music or even flour­ish In the region. Hope­fully it gets bet­ter but I wouldn’t hold my breath and I don’t think I’d per­son­ally have the patience to wait for it.

Do you feel with cur­rent affairs at times you use your music as tool to express and high­light the issues we have in the world? 

I try to keep my music as per­son­al and hon­est as pos­sible. I believe that’s the only way to make time­less music that people can relate to. As far as cur­rent affairs, I think I’d only address issues I’ve exper­i­enced or encountered first hand. And if I were to address oth­er cur­rent affairs I’d address it through a per­son­al per­spect­ive rather than a social orob­ject­ive one.

 Tell us abit about the albums you have released -  The leaf banger and Beat­ing Red? What were the tones of these albums? 

I’ve done a few mix­tapes before but Beat­ing Red was my first offi­cial album — the album revolved around the tri­als and tribu­la­tions of love, lust and broken rela­tion­ships. It takes you through a jour­ney from end to end — meet­ing a girl you’re inter­ested in to the anger and rage of the heart­break. There’s a few songs on there that still strike chords with me.

The leaf Banger album was fun — the con­cept was “how many club banger hit type tracks can we make” the pur­pose was to show range and get club per­form­ances since that’s the most com­mon way to get shows around here. It’s a fun “jump up and down” and dance out album

What can we expect from you in the near future?

A Leaf Banger 2 album — that’s facts!  Also a new album/project -as far as I’m con­cerned at the moment,  the name of that album will “Golden Cages”.

 

Keep up to date with Trak’s music by lik­ing him on Face­book. 

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Nicholas Milverton
A writer with an interest in Philo­sophy, Soci­ology, Anthro­po­logy and all things intro­spect­ive. Someone who is equally at home in under­ground house raves as he is in café’s. He is con­tinu­ally ques­tion­ing the sys­tem and his own lines of reas­on­ing. There­fore, he is always rein­vent­ing him­self.

About Nicholas Milverton

Nicholas Milverton
A writer with an interest in Philosophy, Sociology, Anthropology and all things introspective. Someone who is equally at home in underground house raves as he is in cafe's. He is continually questioning the system and his own lines of reasoning. Therefore, he is always reinventing himself.