Llunr: Jordanian artist finds niche on TikTok

Bader Al-Khatib (Photo: Handout from Bader Khatib)
AMMAN — Jordanian singer-songwriter Bader Khatib, mononymously known as ‘Llunr’, took a leap of faith when he quit his stable job to pursue his passion for music.اضافة اعلان

Khatib found it difficult to convince people of the switch. He was told that quitting his job would be a mistake and that he would need a “plan B.” However, the one person he thought would also disparage his dream had the opposite reaction.

“My dad is a very “go study” kind of person, the ‘you have to get your certificate’ kind of strict in a sense, typical Arab dad,” he told Jordan News.

Khatib explained that his father’s supportive words ultimately convinced him that he could pursue his dream successfully. “And that’s all I needed. My mom, my brothers, my friends all said ‘no’, but my dad said to go and do it and that’s all I needed,” he recalled.

Khatib now believes that quitting his job was the best decision he has ever made. “It’s clear to me that leaving my job and pursuing something that I love, I’ll be happy with, even if I’m failing at it.”

Ever since Khatib fully immersed himself in the music scene, he started producing and writing as many songs he can at any chance given. Whether it’s in the car or shower, Khatib turns his “time-consuming” thoughts into music.

“I would try to find what’s going on with me right now and then write lyrics to that melody,” he said. “I could hear the whole sound, the whole song and everything.”

He explained that his lyrical inspiration comes from both his own experiences and the experiences of others. His song “Young River” was written during a livestream on Instagram in which hundreds of fans shared their own feelings and thoughts.

“I had a song already produced and I knew what I wanted it to be about but I couldn’t find the right lyrics, so people would send me things that they’ve gone through and I’d realize like yeah, I’ve been feeling or felt this way too before.”

Khatib, who grew up in the United States and is generally more comfortable speaking in English, explained his struggle in trying to reach an Arab audience with English lyrics. “I’m trying to send a message in a song, writing English lyrics, and people are just not resonating with it,” he said. “I think when it comes to English artists in the region, or in Jordan at least, there are very few. I think it’s very difficult to write English music for an Arabic audience.”

However, the popular video sharing app TikTok came to the rescue in the singer’s time of need. With over 100,000 followers and 1 million likes on his TikTok account ‘Llunr’, Khatib was able to find an audience for his original music, remixes, and humorous content. He explained that on TikTok, he was able to reach a bigger audience that allowed his music to “shine,” and recommended the app as a starting point for anyone who has a talent or has an idea and wants to put themselves out there.

Despite his growing success with his English lyrics, Khatib still intends to write music in Arabic or at least incorporating some Arabic lyrics into his songs.

“I feel like I have to test the waters a bit, first as an artist and at the same time to be true to my origin,” he said. “Hopefully in my next song or the one after that, there’s going to be some Arabic music involved.”

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