Tayeb Santo. Now there's a name pulsating with promise in the Arab hip-hop arena. A maestro with not one, but two master's degrees under his gold-chain adorned belt. And if you think that's where the magic ends, hold onto your hats. The man's got this uncanny knack for flicking between Arabic dialects - from the poetic Fusha and the gritty rhythms of Algerian Darija, to the Emirati lilt and the soul of Egyptian streets. All this wrapped up in an ensemble that screams style. It's like watching a maestro at work, each beat and bar infused with an academic's precision. It's clear: In a world of copy-paste hip-hop, Santo's crafting a symphony all his own.
It's a whirlwind of a tale when it comes down to which part of the song got Santo's blood pumping. Two years back, buried under the weight of his Master's degree, music releases weren't quite on the front burner. But, like a guitarist with an itch, he can't quite reach, he was desperate to keep his songwriting groove in action. The muse hit while rummaging through beats, trying to conjure up something that married the myriad of Arabic dialects he's danced with throughout his UAE life.
You know that feeling when a melody latches onto your brain and won't let go? That was it for the rapper. Before he knew it, he was laying the tracks down, thinking it’d be nothing more than a quick demo. Heck, the song feels like it's still stretching its legs—it was never meant to be just a single verse! The twist: A buddy of his got wind of it and after just one listen, he's all in, "We're shooting this the minute you touch down in Dubai." And, well, the rest is, as they say, history.
"So I would say looking back at it now it was a step into unlocking new patterns of learning and realizing some technical aspects on how to record a song, connecting and not rushing the process."
Hammering out 'MajeneeN' over and over in the chorus just does the trick. It's that irresistibly catchy part that turns the song into this rollicking, feel-good anthem. You can't help but let loose, embrace the goofiness, and sport a grin. It's the heart and soul of the track, and honestly, it's all about spreading those positive vibes.
Admitting the not-so-obvious, it's all in that pulsating house beat that sets the track apart, a nod to the wizardry of Canada's very own DJ Kaytranada. That rhythm lit a fire under Tayeb, pushing him to trek through uncharted territories of sound, blending in a cocktail of Arabic culture and street talk. Sure, he wants listeners to vibe with his tunes, not just get hung up on the words. But hey, it's all a wild ride, and Tayeb Santo is still strapped in, learning at every twist and turn
"I have got a long way to master what I am aiming for."
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.