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December 8 2021 11:39 AM ˚
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Local rapper has hope for future of genre

othman rapper
(Photo: Handout from Othman)
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 AMMAN — The music scene in Jordan has been witnessing a surge in the number of musicians and singers; some disappeared before anyone heard of them, others were able to capture the hearts of listeners. اضافة اعلان

Jordan News talked to Othman, a local rapper who became popular in Jordan and neighboring Arab countries. He talked about his experience, his EP, his first live concert, and his opinion about the rap community.

Othman started singing less than two years ago. What distinguishes him is the message of his songs, which resonates with many and may seem easy to write but is not. Neither is it easy to imitate his singing.

"I write about my personal experience, which is often that of many other people, so (my listeners) feel my music, and like to listen to it."

Othman started rapping during the COVID-19 pandemic but shared that the pandemic only helped him be more productive.

"Since I own a home recording studio, I was able to really use that time to record more songs. So I cannot describe that period as completely bad."

Othman’s first live concert took place not too long ago alongside rapper Arsee.

"We had taken a very bold step, as we did not think about the matter for long, but decided to hold the concert suddenly; we were not even able to estimate the number of attendees, as my audience, in particular, is not from Jordan alone, but from outside it as well."

The concert meant a lot to him. "The number of attendees may have seemed small, but everyone who came was only there to hear Othman sing," he said.

Othman recently worked on an EP under the name "Mashi." Still, circumstances forced him to release it as a single, initially supposed to have six tracks, eventually consisting of only four.

"In the first track, I talk about myself and tell people to be themselves without resorting to pretenses just to be loved by others. The second track I consider a bit comical. I depict two characters in it, one very realistic and another very comical. The general idea was to talk about what is going on in the music scene now. It has been the most popular track for me so far,” he said.

“The third track, which I issued recently, talks about me and the last period in which I lived, and how I have completely changed to prefer myself over others,” he added.

Othman is working on the fourth track alongside Syrian artist Nowa Lightman. At the beginning of next year, he plans to release a music video; he keeps the details as a surprise for later. What he wants to be known is that the track will “conclude” his previous work and that after it, he will start with a new style of writing and singing.

When it comes to cooperation with other rappers and the impact on the extent of demand for joint works, he believes that “what really matters to me is that the track we are working on is really strong, and that the rapper with whom I collaborate is reputable."

The rap community in Jordan — and in the Arab world in general — is small, and everyone knows everyone else, so “working with someone with a good reputation has a great impact.” Still, he claims that he does not care much about a rapper's popularity and the number of fans or followers they have on social media.

Rap, as a genre, is still new in Jordan, and the hip-hop culture is still growing, unlike in countries like Egypt, for example.

"In Jordan people have recently started to learn about rap, and the demand for it has increased, so I think that the Jordanian rap community will soon enjoy a better future."

Still, "unfortunately, some people still do not taste rap music. That has an impact on the demand from our sponsors. Rap is a fine art, and rappers are talented people who undoubtedly deserve support," he said.

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