A hip-hop symphony: Gulf Weekly Online
Mysterious music maker Nabil Adili’s debut album is a blend of his two guiding philosophies – minimalism and leading an orchestra from the shadows.
The 20-year-old producer who works as NBL released The Yungin a few weeks ago and the nine-track album is a labor of love, the fruit of over six years of hard work and self-study. .
“I’ve always had a deep love for hip hop and rap music, and have been busy teaching myself new skills via YouTube for the past five years,” said the UK University student from Bahrain, who is completing a degree in computer science, at GulfWeekly. in an interview.
The title of Yungin’s album refers to how the Saudi-born artist is considered by stalwarts of the regional music industry to be “young”, although he quickly proves his skills exceed his years away.
The album cover was created by photographer Yousif Al Sahaf, better known as Morbid, based on a quick chat the two had, where NBL mentioned they wanted to highlight the orchestral sound from the album.
In the album’s first song I’m Back alongside Dubai rapper Jeed, NBL clarifies that his music plays mostly in the English realm of Arabic rap.
While rappers and hip hop front men tend to be in the limelight, the producers and MCs who produce their accompanying music are often the first and last to work on a track…and are often forgotten when the music begins to reach the heights.
NBL is pleased with this, finding that he enjoys turning music into magic behind the scenes, similar to an orchestra conductor, bringing his vision to life with the help of skilled musical specialists.
Over the past year, NBL has connected with rappers, singers and other musicians in the area, and the results speak for themselves – 10 different voices feature on the 20-minute album.
And as such, it parallels other album producers like Dr Dre. In recent years, producers have become increasingly recognized as artists as their technical skills blend with artistic expression.
NBL worked with Abdulrahman Al Sahaf, popularly known as Wrista, after they met through mutual friends.
Although he initially dreamed of being a rapper, he has developed a growing attachment to the production side of the business over the past few years and is a core member of Wrista’s collective, Last of a Dying Breed.
“When I first met Nabil, he approached me because he wanted to be a rapper, and after hearing what he sent me, I was candid and told him that I I was hoping he wouldn’t pursue a career as a rapper,” Wrista noted. , which NBL recognized as the best advice he had received.
“But what struck me was that he was always keen to learn, improve and get better, and when it comes to producing he has a fantastic ear for detail and the wealth.”
This detail and richness is apparent in the second track, Summer in Paris, with Sharin Tamimi, which reached the top 200 of the Apple Music Middle East charts – a stellar achievement for a new artist from the region choosing to create in English.
“I grew up listening to J-Cole, Kendrick Lamar and Jay-Z, so it was more authentic for me to have English lyrics,” the producer explained.
“That being said, I’ve experimented with sampling more Arabic music in my work, and a Saudi artist I worked with sent me some traditional music, but it’s a little harder to sample. because the instrumentation and the recording are very different.”
Each of the songs on the album has a unique story behind it, with some taking only 20 minutes to complete, while others took weeks to perfect.
Hometown Hero, Love Has Many Faces, Praise, Speaking to God V2, Chase The Thrill and This God Forsaken Place each have a unique audio signature, technically proving the music creator’s mettle while highlighting the skills of each collaborating rapper.
“Chase The Thrill, for example, was laid down initially within 20 minutes because that’s just how long I had before the rapper came to pick us up,” NBL explained with a chuckle.
“Of course I finished it later, but he loved the foundation and it was exactly what we needed to start thinking about ideas, lyrics and flows. In fact, I continued to m adjust and change until we upload to our distribution service.
“I did the outro of this song just 30 minutes before uploading, which means he never got a chance to hear the final version, but he loved it!”
As for what’s next, NBL hopes to sit down with a local band and take inspiration from the artist they’re talking to right now — right now, it’s Al Green — before unleashing their creativity together on the next one. disk.
The Yungin is now available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Tidal and Amazon Music.
For more details, visit @nabiladili on Instagram.