Film and music are timeless companions, each enhancing the other's power to evoke emotions.
While film visually captures our world's narratives, music provides the heartbeat, setting the mood and pace. Together, they create an immersive experience, transporting audiences to realms both familiar and unknown.
The Dubai skyline, punctuated by its glinting skyscrapers, might not immediately scream 'musical heartland'. But nestled among its glittering edifices is an oasis of beats, where DJ Tilal24 is spinning the soundtrack of the modern Middle East.
Seeing DJ Tilal24 for the first time, you'd be forgiven for thinking he's just discovered the most incredible vinyl in a dusty crate. That's the face he's worn since 2004, eyes lit up in fascination. "I stumbled on a record at my uncle's," he says, "and ever since, music has been my great escape, my portal to another world." His mission? Ensuring every heartbeat in the room synchs with his tracks, crafting playlists that elevate the soul of any space he's in.
Flashback over a decade and the streets of Sudan echoed with beats from its biggest music fests - Karmakol Festival, SAMA Music Festival - the handiwork of now UAE's very own Tilal. Imagine this: coordinating gigs, spinning decks, co-directing swanky music videos with Indeepvision, all while rocking an international-standard groove. A jack of many trades, Tilal wistfully muses, "If not for DJing? Maybe I'd be conjuring digital magic as a web designer, or crafting stories as a filmmaker."
Ever had one of those days that's imprinted on your mind forever? For DJ Tilal24, it was lighting up Karamkol Festival in 2017 and smashing the DJ competition in 2020. Yet, every rise has its set of challenges. "Imagine being in a community that's yet to feel the seismic impact of DJing on the global entertainment stage," he sighs. But give up? Never. Tilal's eyes gleam as he imagines rocking sets at Tomorrowland Festival, Ultra Festival, and the sun-drenched shores of Ibiza.
"I've never thought about giving up on my dream to become one of the world's biggest festival DJs."
A deep-rooted love for Sudanese and African culture sparked AfroBeatLand Entertainment. "The African Culture Week was our stepping stone," he recalls. As he narrates, you can feel the rhythm, the heartbeats of every Nigerian and Eritrean wedding, the pulse of university events, and the thrill of working with a team that feels more like family.
"I'm grateful for my amazing team, especially my family," he says.
But not to box him in just yet. There is another world he sets his conquest on — filmmaking. With Indeepvision, DJ Tilal24 has been the backbone of chart-topping music videos, starting as a humble sound tech and then diving headfirst into the world of co-direction. Their award-winning cinematic gem, "Journey to Kenya," is creating ripples on platforms like #Shahid.
Dying to drop the bass and take over the decks? DJ Tilal24 leans in, eyes intense, and says, "Market yourself with a fire, craft your sound, stay locked onto that dream, and damn, your moment will arrive." As the sun dips behind the horizon, casting a golden hue, you realize – in the sprawling metropolis of Dubai, DJ Tilal24 isn't just another name. He's an icon in the making.
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.