December 5 2022 1:53 AM E-paper Subscribe Sign in My Account Sign out

Haifawi’s alternative music comes ‘out of my heart’

Haifawi
The Jordanian alternative multi-instrumentalist musician Yazan Haifawi in an undated photo. (Photos: Yazan Haifawi’s Facebook page)
AMMAN — Jordanian artist Yazan Haifawi is a multi-instrumentalist who made his way into the alternative Arabic music scene. At five, he played his first notes on the keyboard and went on to learn every musical instrument he could get his hands on.اضافة اعلان

“My musical motivation began when I was a child, since I come from a musical family. I used to play on the keyboard, oud, and guitar; all these instruments were available in our house,” Haifawi said in an interview with Jordan News.

He formed his first band, when he was in school, with his colleague Basem Sayej, who is currently a singer with the Jordanian band Akher Zapheer, and called it “Nashaz”, which means cacophony.

“I used to play English melodies on the guitar, in addition to singing,” says the musician, who had also formed an alternative rock band with his friends when he started university.


The Jordanian alternative multi-instrumentalist musician Yazan Haifawi in an undated photo. (Photos: Yazan Haifawi’s Facebook page)

Haifawi released his first Arabic single “Wainek Min Zaman” in 2011. “This was my actual start,” he said, adding that he shifted his style to alternative Arabic rock. After releasing his first song, Haifawi became one of the pioneers in releasing the genre's full potential and bringing it to the eager ears of the Arab world's music fans.

His first single reached more than 7 million views on his YouTube Channel and has over 55,000 subscribers.

He told Jordan News that when he released his first single on YouTube, which he also shared on his Facebook account, he was amazed by how people responded positively to his song, “even if it was their first taste of this genre of music”.

“The feedback of Wainek Min Zaman was positive, and it was a very big push for me to continue,” he said.

Music in the Arab world nowadays, he said, is commercialized, the one you listen to on the radio, and independent, or alternative music, somehow. 

“If you listen to Lebanese singer Fairouz and Rahbani musicals, you notice alternative music; they include jazz and instruments that are not used in Arabic music,” he said, adding that alternative music started with Rahbani musicals, in which Arabic music was combined with Western.  

The term alternative is used for the genre that differs from conventional rock or pop music. Haifawi was one of the first musicians to release a song in the style of alternative music in Jordan in 2011.



The Jordanian alternative multi-instrumentalist musician Yazan Haifawi in an undated photo. (Photos: Yazan Haifawi’s Facebook page)

“It was strongly influenced by pop and rock music,” Haifawi said.

Mixing Western and Arabic melodies, Haifawi produces unique pieces. He writes all his lyrics and records the majority of his music in his home studio. 

To write his songs, Haifawi draws inspiration from his personal experience, which, he believes, makes the song more appealing and “the audience can feel it.”

Alternative music, he stresses, “is a real blend of Arabic and rock music that pushes both genres to their limits, resulting in a different theme.”

Haifawi has been playing alternative music for over 10 years, in Jordan and other countries, such as Egypt, for example, where, in 2018, he participated in the Music Park festival.

While working on new songs, he also released his first official music video for the “Aman” song in 2020 on his YouTube channel, garnering 299,000 views.

He shares his personal experience and his life through his lyrics, convinced that “the audience relates to the stories because they come out of my heart.” He also feels that, sometimes, his music “helps people go through bad and good times.”

Read more Music