Mahasneh celebrates album ‘Fakher El Madineh’ two-years later

illiam x mahasneh poster - 2-01
(Photos: Handouts from Fesca Productions)
Ahmad Al-Mahasneh, a 19-year-old Jordanian rapper, has finally had a chance to celebrate his album “Fakher El Madineh” — which means “Pride of the city” in Arabic — almost two years post-release. اضافة اعلان

He worked on the album for two years before its release in 2020.

“I started working on the album when I was 16, and I finished it when I was 18. The ideas and concepts within the album represent the feelings and struggles I was going through consistently for the past three years,” Mahasneh told Jordan News.

Fakher El Madineh, according to Mahasneh, was considered to be one of the most successful raps and R&B albums of the year 2020, locally. He has steadily grown his audience since then.

The album consists of 12 songs, all connected musically and conceptually, he said. The album also links old rap samples to new ones, combining Arabic melody with rap.

“The inspiration behind the album was definitely Amman. The art it holds, the artists who worked with me, and my personal takes and emotions,” he said.

“It was a project to remember Amman. To empower it and to appreciate the art that dominated its musical scene, this is why I had artists from different genres join me in many collaborations.”

Several local music producers and composers worked alongside Mahasneh on the album, including music producers Dahab and Zaid Allan and music composers Joseph Demerijian and Mojanad.

Multiple features with other local artists were on the album as well. Dodix was featured on “Yemken ana ghalat”, garnering more than 144,000 views on YouTube, The Synaptik was on “oh my” with 60,000 views, and Emsallam on “Atham”, which has more than 123,000 views.

His more famous song with Bigsam, “Ana”, has almost a million views.

Many confuse “Fakher El Madineh” as a statement of overconfidence from Mahasneh’s side, he said. “But the truth is, the name reflects the music scene and how it is truly a treasure buried under all the political, economic, and social problems we have”.

One such song, “Watan”, meaning “homeland”, demonstrates the crossover between personal, social, economic, and political issues. “In the first verse, I strictly talk about a relationship with a girl, but then I juxtapose it with a second verse that talks about how hard life can be for underprivileged children with little opportunities,” he said.
The inspiration behind the album was definitely Amman. The art it holds, the artists who worked with me, and my personal takes and emotions.
“Through the verse, the economic, social, and political struggles that take place in our lives are given a space to be explored.”

“I want to … highlight the overlooked details of mental health problems, daily struggles, and how these struggles can be just as important as political or economic issues,” he added.

The creative process of creating the album was “a bit excessive,” according to Mahasneh. Since it was his first album, he put a lot of pressure on himself. “For 12 months, I locked myself and my producers in the studio. We finished about 19 demos. We then cut them down to 12 to maintain the cohesive musical sound of the album,” he said.

In August, local production company Fesca, Mahasneh, and local rapper Ahmad Haroon, known as Illiam, performed at a concert celebrating the album.

“The album was released during COVID, which prevented me from having a release party or promoting it properly. So for me, this concert was a thank you to the fans that listened and shared ‘Fakher El Madineh’, plus it was my departing gift before I leave the city,” he said.

Fesca production’s Managing Director Husam Al-Nuaimi, emphasized Fesca’s commitment to sponsoring independent local artists from different genres within the alternative music scene.

The event was attended by rapper Saleh Zamil and his music producer Litch, who performed some of their hits, including “Saat Elyoum” (hours of the day), which has some 70,000 views on YouTube.

Jordanian rapper Dodix also made a special appearance and performed. Rapper Skeem also made his way from Palestine and performed some of his songs alongside his music producer Chieafwa.

“The concert was definitely a prideful moment in my career because, for the first time in two years, I got to experience the connection between the music and the fans and witness it in real life,” said Mahasneh.

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