In a world where the ebb and flow of musical genres shape our very experiences, few artists maintain a commitment to constant evolution like Assad, the mastermind behind the enigmatic "Bull Funk Zoo", formerly known as Abstrakt.
His accolades are notable - from nominations at the Time Out and Hype awards for best live act to accolades for best rock song "Oblivion" and the recent acclaim for "Down & Dirty", nominated for best rock album at the Independent Music Awards 2019. Not to mention, 2023 promises fresh beats, with a slew of singles culminating in an album drop in 2024. But behind the awards, a passionate spirit thrives, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the UAE's music scene.
Assad speaks with the kind of veracity that only comes from years in the game, observing the UAE's musical metamorphosis. While he praises the evolving original music and the emerging artists stamping their mark, he doesn't shy away from the hard truths. "Dubai's music scene leans more toward entertainment rather than deep-seated artistry," he observes. The solution? An ecosystem that nurtures originality, from providing grants for artists to a publishing and royalties system. And, of course, venues. Spaces that live and breathe original works, that pulse with the heartbeats of the artists they host.
"This topic is long and broad!," he concludes.
Yet, music isn't the sole beat of Assad's heart. Dive into a conversation about world affairs or history, and he's your man. Or, perhaps, plunge into the ocean's depths - his passion for diving and marine life is palpable.
The name "Bull Funk Zoo" is a testament to the intricacy of his persona. 'Bull' stands for passion, resilience, and perseverance. 'Funk', a nod to the groovy base of many of his tracks, and 'Zoo', a homage to George Orwell's "Animal Farm", paints a vivid picture of the societal reflections that echo in his work.
Predicting the musical trajectory of someone as unpredictable as Assad might seem a fool's errand. "My music has always evolved and I'm always evolving in different genres," he says. Yet, when asked about Bull Funk Zoo's genre in the next five years, he dives deep into his history. He recounts his early years with Abstrakt Collision and its experimental, fusion-focused tunes. Fast forward, and the Bull Funk Zoo albums present a mesmerizing medley from funk and pop-rock to heavy blues. His 2023 ventures? They're slated to be an electric fusion of groove, soul, electro, funk, pop, and hip hop.
My music has always evolved and I'm always evolving in different genres
For those of us caught in Bull Funk Zoo's intricate web of sounds, one thing's clear: the next five years promise a roller coaster. A thrilling, unpredictable, and soul-stirring musical journey that'll have us hooked on every note, waiting for what's next in the ever-evolving world of Assad.
HOMEGROWN is musivv’s segment dedicated to featuring UAE-based artists. Features under this segment are eligible for a nomination under this category in the Musivv Awards’ annual recognition.