Jordanian artist Zaid Khaled shares his journey with music

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(Photo: Hand out from Zaid Khaled)
AMMAN — Zaid Khaled, the up-and-coming Jordanian music artist, began his music career during the lockdown in Amman last year. His initial introduction to the music community was in cooperation with the Arab rapper, Synaptik.اضافة اعلان

While the world was suffering from frustration during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zaid Khaled was working creatively to enter the world of music. Khaled was able to overcome many challenges and achieve great success within the Jordanian music community.

Jordan News was able to interview Zaid Khaled and dig deeper into his beginnings, future work, inspirations for music, and advice for the younger generation of artists. 

Tell me about how you started; how did you get to where you are today?

I started about a year and three months ago, with the beginning of the quarantine in Amman. The first track I did was in May of last year.

I was spending the time during the full lockdown with my friend Synaptik.

He was recording and working on his tracks all the time. This was hugely inspirational and prompted me to get started straight away.

You studied filmmaking at university. Did this major have any role in the music you are working on today?

From childhood, I was very attached to music. My father would reward me with an instrument sometimes, especially the guitar.

After that, my brother became a guitarist while I was a film-making student at university.

From the age of 16 until today, I deliberately associate the photography I am working with to the music.

During my time studying photography and filmmaking, most of those around me were musicians, not photographers, directors, or anything like that.

I expect that my university major did have a big role in what I have achieved today. My work in photography is what brought me to the musicians I work with right now. 

Tell me about the difficulties you have faced and may still face today.

I quote from Idrissi track; “Saaba Amman / Amman is tough.” In Amman, a large segment of music audiences is more inclined to listen to foreign music or stay away from Jordanian music in particular and Arabic in general. This is very annoying as I want to sing for the people of Amman.

I would like my music to be for Amman and Jordan.

This applies to many Jordanian bands … I wish I could change this and that I could make successful music because of Jordan and because of Amman. I'm already working on this.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been very difficult for artists and people in general. How was your experience with this period?

This may sound strange, but I am very grateful for the COVID-19 pandemic. I can say that that period was the best thing that ever happened to me.

At first, I thought I would get very depressed by being isolated from people and spending most of the time on my own, but the truth was otherwise.

As a result of the border closures, Synaptik had to stay at home with me for several months, which made me try this out by singing alongside him, as he was a huge encouragement to me.

It was a very productive period, and we spent it writing songs, recording, and filming. I found something new to get away from the depression or loneliness I thought would haunt me.

There is news about you signing with "Elbatron,” what do you have to tell us about this?

I prefer to say that I have signed a contract with an Egyptian Label.

I refrain from mentioning "Elbatron" because I would like to publicize this more appropriately. But, what I can tell you is that I am in Egypt now, and I will stay here for now.

I signed with an Egyptian label and finished recording my album with them.

It will be my first full album with producer Waili.

Currently, we are working on the promotional side of the album and the launch event, which will be at the end of this year.

I feel very excited to work with them. It feels good to find a supporter who will give you everything you need in return for making creative music for your listeners.

Tell us more about your next album.

It is called "Tayarat o Sayarat,” and it consists of 11 songs.

There is a collaboration with two other people that I won't announce now.

It will be a big surprise. The genre of this album can be considered as alternative Arabic pop.

Let me tell you this. I feel that singers could sing all kinds of alternative music except pop. And I feel like I can do that on this album.

I write stories and events that I lived through, but when I go to compose these words, I find myself influenced by the tunes of Mohamed Fouad and Mostafa Qamar.

I want to feel the melody of Arab pop that we used to hear on tapes back in the day.

Even though you are not a rapper, you have made several tracks with rappers like Elfar3i and Synaptik. What leads you to collaborate with singers of this type of music?

I hear a lot of people calling me a rapper, but anyone who listens to my work knows that it’s not rap. Maybe I'll rap later, but I'm in the process of trying everything right now, and I don't want to pick just one style.

I might be considered a rapper because I came out in a period full of new rappers, plus I use the same tools that they do. It's like I use auto-tunes, and I record my music entirely using computers. In addition, my friends are longtime rappers.

So there is no doubt that I am influenced by this genre of music. … I consider it important that there is a personal relationship between the singers so that they can present one work. It’s not only that I look for a well-known or professional singer.

It is important that there is chemistry between the singers.”

What is your advice to young people who are new to singing, especially at this time?

I am still new, and I'm still looking for advice too.

But one of the things I learned is to keep releasing songs permanently.

I don't see a reason to delay submitting works because of our desire to be perfect in everything, this is unrealistic.
What we are looking for should be balanced.

Performance improvements come from experimentation, so as long as I produce songs and release them, then I use the feedback to develop my next works.

What I was doing earlier was to write whatever came to my mind straight away.

I was working on it and then put it out there. I may go back today to look at the first song that I released, I find it not at the level I am today, but I know it is the reason for who I am today.

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