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El Faouri: Jordanian rapper offers walkthrough of creative process

An undated photo of Jordanian rapper El Faouri performing onstage. (Photos: Zaid Shlian)
An undated photo of Jordanian rapper El Faouri performing onstage. (Photos: Zaid Shlian)
AMMAN — When 22-year-old rapper Abdullah El-Faouri, mononymously known as El-Faouri, was in the fifth grade, he searched up “Arabic rap” online, out of sheer curiosity.اضافة اعلان

“Two songs popped up, one by the Saudi rapper Klash and another by Yemeni rapper, Kawi,” El Faouri recalled in an interview with Jordan News.  

“I listened to them and immediately and was overwhelmed.”

Back then, rap was not as popular in Jordan as it is now. “The rhythm and the flow in both songs were different than in other music we were used to,” El Faouri said.

“I started writing lyrics, recording, and I even uploaded a couple of (songs) online,” he said. “I consider these songs (to be) basic because I was really young, and didn’t have much life experience.”

A couple of years later, when he was in the tenth grade, he produced four songs but put music on hold in his senior year of high school. “I think that my official beginning in the rap scene was after I graduated high school back in 2018,” he explained.

El Faouri attributed his musical inspiration to the emotions that accompany the first time he listens to a beat. “I listen to a certain beat, I start to vibe with it, then I write the lyrics,” he said. “For me, my songs are not really about certain topics. They are more about the feelings and vibes you get when you listen to them.”

“Some lines, however, are inspired by my personal experiences, maybe something that was upsetting me at the time.”

El Faouri mentioned that two of his top favourite songs are his feature with fellow musician, Al-Rawi, titled “Lamma” (“When” in Arabic), which hit over 1 million views on YouTube, and his feature with Illiam called ‘Keef Golli?’ (“Tell me how?” in Arabic), which garnered half a million views. Both songs were inspired by personal experiences.

“I like all my songs, and I actually listen to them all the time, but both of these tracks are special because they were inspired by something personal,” he said.

Although a decision to pursue music full-time may trigger concern from parents, El Faouri’s family are huge supporters of his music. “They were never against me making music,” he said. “My family were always supportive, they became even more supportive when they saw that I can depend on it financially.”

Unlike the musicians and creatives who experienced a slump in productivity during the pandemic, pandemic, El Faouri said he “kind of benefited from being in lockdown” last year. He has all of his equipment for recording and producing music at home, which allowed him to immerse himself in production.

El Faouri is very careful when it comes to releasing his songs – so that he never regrets anything. “I am not exaggerating when I say I have more than 50 (unreleased) songs, but I am not debuting them until I am certain I would never regret doing so,” he said. “This is the case with all my songs...”

The rapper’s sense of style has made him “easily recognizable” in public places.
 “It is funny to me, they (fans) usually spot my accessories, like my glasses,” he said.

“I recall many times being in the supermarket with my mask on, and people would recognize me from my haircut and glasses because they have a distinctive pentagon shape,” he said.  

The Jordanian hip-hop scene still has room for improvement, according to El Faouri.

“Some people are really selfish, and that is not how things should be,” the rapper said. “We are a small scene and I think we should be supporting each other instead of dividing ourselves into small groups that do not talk to or help each other,” he added calling for greater solidarity among his peers.

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