With the 2022 Soccer World Cup fast approaching, the Qatar 365 program team decides to turn their attention to the tournament’s soundtrack. Whether it’s a state-of-the-art production center or an inventive music school, Qatar has unique spaces that provide an innovative approach to teaching. Let’s find out more about the country’s music scene.
Euronews journalists visit the music facility that has put its stamp on the official soundtrack of the World Cup, meet the star of the single ‘Hayya Hayya Better Together’ and discover the international artists who are making a name for themselves in Qatar.
“One of the most active companies in the months before the start of the World Cup is Katara Studios. The production company played a key role in the World Cup draw, and left its mark on the first single from the Qatar 2022 official soundtrack. But… we’ll talk about that later. Beforehand, Aadel Haleem takes us on a tour of the Qatari recording studio that is destined to become a leader in the audiovisual sector in the Middle East,” explains journalist Miranda Atty.
In Matt Howe’s case this is literally music to his ears. If anyone knows what a hit record sounds like, it’s the Grammy Award-winning sound engineer (Matt Howe won a Grammy in 1999 with Album of the Year for The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill). But despite four decades in the business, the Qatar-based Briton is always eager to learn.
“Coming here was good for me because I wanted to know a little more about the music of the Middle East, Khaleeji (Khaleeji refers to the so-called ‘Arabian peninsula’, the region that includes Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, etc.), we are in the Gulf region. I can learn from it, and then maybe when I get back home I can make some sort of recommendation on it. This is an industry that is talked about. If you do a good job and you can connect with others, that’s a really good thing,” says Matt Howe, chief sound engineer at Katara Studios.
“Katara Studios is responsible for producing the lead single, ‘Hayya Hayya’, for the official soundtrack of the Qatar 2022 Soccer World Cup. But there’s more, as this is the first time the tournament’s soundtrack will feature with several songs, bringing together international artists and sounds, which seem appropriate for a truly global sport,” says Aadel Haleem, a reporter for Euronews.
“It’s been really interesting, getting all kinds of people to work together. And… They love it! Western artists are excited about Qatari percussionists and singers, and vice versa,” suggests Mazen Murad, Katara Music Director. Studios.
Mazen Murad is a sound engineer, which means that once the music is recorded and mixed, it passes into his hands for the finishing touches. Thus, with state-of-the-art recording equipment, Katara Studios has launched an independent record label.
“We have more artists, more singers, more musicians, because they can perfect their art by having a place like this, where music is recorded and released. If they didn’t have this place, they would have to wait to travel to Europe. .. or something like that. So, I think this makes a big difference,” adds Mazen Murad.
With everything needed for music, film and television under one roof, the first space of its kind in the region, Katara Studios has also been commissioned to produce the opening and closing ceremonies for Qatar 2022.
“There is no pressure whatsoever. I think I can speak on behalf of everyone and say that we are very motivated to make this dream come true and make it the best dream of all. Our intention is to make the inauguration the best opening ceremony ever. I’ve ever seen, you know what I mean… So, we have that attitude, and we feel really good about it,” says Luca Bercovici, film director at Katara Studios.
Just like his entire team at Katara Studios, a few weeks away from the most popular sporting event in the world.
One of the stars of Qatar’s 2022 hit “Hayya Hayya, Better together”, Qatari singer Aisha, joined us for a very special interview at Katara Studios. As well as talking about all things World Cup related, she gave us an exclusive preview of her new creations.
“The best part of the whole project was visiting the desert, going to different parts of Qatar and discovering new areas that I had never been before. Also, it was my second time in a similar situation, as if I was shooting a music video. So So, I’m relatively new to this. It was all very, very, very exciting for me,” says singer Aisha.
It is a very happy and catchy song. How do you think you combine these different cultures, while still being, I guess, the quintessence of Qatar?asks Miranda Atty, a journalist for Euronews.
“I would say the most Qatari element is represented by the instruments. If you could hear the drums in the background…it’s very Qatari. Also, ‘Hayya Hayya’ is the Arabic word that says to people, ‘Hey, let’s get moving. “Also, I would say… I would add a part of Qatari and Arabic elements to it. I don’t think people are used to seeing a hijab in a World Cup Soccer song. So, that was quite novel. Ultimately… yes, there are little elements here and there that make it international and easy for everyone to appreciate, but… at the same time, unique to the region,” says Aisha.
How do you think the music industry is changing in Qatar?the reporter wants to know.
“I definitely think more Qatari artists are going to emerge and activity is going to increase. And… I think there’s going to be a lot more diversity in the Qatari music industry. I’m looking forward to that because I know a lot of Qatari artists who are really fantastic and amazing. What happens is that they have to come to the surface. The country encourages young people to do it and share their talent, but not everyone dares to do it, “explains the interpreter of the Copa single of the World Cup Qatar 2022.
What awaits you after the World Cup?Miranda Atty asks.
“The plan would be to release my own songs, and maybe eventually tour, share my music with the world. Yes, that’s my… that’s my goal… my dream, let’s say,” replies singer Aisha. .
With so many different nationalities calling Qatar ‘home’, it’s no wonder there’s a diverse music scene in the capital, Doha. Whether it’s an Irish singer-songwriter, or a Sudanese vocalist and producer… the Euronews team got in touch with some highly talented international artists, to find out how they’re making a name for themselves in the region.
“My name is Martin Farragher and I’m a singer-songwriter. I call myself Faraway Martindeclares singer-songwriter Martin Farragher.
Of Irish origin, based in Doha, Martin has been giving concerts in the capital, on a regular basis, since 2015. By day, he works as a music teacher.
“I teach 2nd through 6th grade. So, we’re talking about 6-12 year olds. We have a lot of fun. I used to teach a little older kids, but I definitely have more in common with the younger ones, because I myself I’m a bit of a child,” says Martin Farragher.
As soon as school is out, Martin, often accompanied by his bandmates, finds himself playing unique venues all over town.
“During the confinement there were no concerts, we couldn’t play anywhere, but we decided to record videos in different places. We recorded playing on paddle boards in the sea, in a grotto in the middle of the desert… and we published it on TikTok and YouTube It was like a snowball, growing and growing… Then the organizers of the Formula 1 Grand Prix asked us to play on the main stage on Saturday night I almost fell out of my chair when I got the email . It was amazing, a great experience,” adds the Irish singer-songwriter and songwriter.
For Martin, Doha’s multicultural nature is ideal.
“In my band there are a couple of Irish, English, American and Cuban musicians. The music scene is always changing in Qatar, because people come and go. It keeps you on your toes. Plus, it’s a great way to make friends.” and learn more about different kinds of music and different cultures,” Farragher concludes.
As his popularity continues to grow, Faraway Martin will soon publish a five-track work.
Sammany Hajo came to Doha 16 years ago. As a musician, he mixes rhythm & blues and hip-hop influences with his Sudanese heritage.
“Once I gained the confidence to experiment with music, it made sense to incorporate Sudanese rhythms and melodies into the music I had listened to growing up,” says Sammany Hajo.
The artist has used his music to discuss political issues and raise awareness of the Sudanese revolution.
“I’ve had several conversations with people who were on the ground, at the protests, and they were talking to me about the importance of art and the revolution. So, I think it plays an important role and helps people who are not very aware of it. of what is happening in the world, to see things in a better way”, adds the Sudanese musician.
“I have met many people who share a passion for music, very talented people, and I have had the pleasure of playing with them from time to time. I think it is a matter of time before we have a great platform that brings together all the musicians and artists from Qatar. I’m looking forward to it,” concludes the African artist.
The country’s music scene is still in its infancy, but with the World Cup approaching, the opportunities for talented musicians are growing in Qatar. The Euronews team closes the report with the music of some of the talented teachers of Jam Studios.