The Future Sound Of Saudi. In partnership with LEVEL Shoes, meet DJKayan, DJ Viva & DJ Emad

Level Shoe

We’re championing the musicians who are currently innovating the way that they create music in a way that ensures a global impact.

The impact of high-profile DJs on the cultural landscape of KSA is undeniable at this stage. The ethos is simple: be the architect of your own narrative. And in that spirit, we’re championing the musicians who are currently innovating the way that they create music in a way that ensures a global impact. From combining unusual instruments with mixing, adding violins, and using aerial arts with classical DJing–we’ve sat down with the industry pioneers. In partnership with LEVEL, meet Kayan, DJ Viva and DJ Emad, three prolific musicians that plan on elevating the music scene and taking it to the next level. Whether we’re discussing their creative process or what exactly they want to transpose through their music, here’s an exclusive look at the makers behind the new developments of KSAs core creative ethos.

EMAD

From working with Afrojack to Social Media stardom and western integration of Saudi culture: Introducing EMAD–the DJ taking the KSA musical ethos globally.

What are your thoughts on the music industry in the KSA?
It’s certainly growing, especially with the emergence of new platforms and a new generation listening to new genres. Even Arabian music is in its evolutive state because of new production processes. It’s definitely exploding.

What is your favourite thing about being part of the music industry?
Travelling the world is definitely at the top of my list. Exploring new places, meeting new people and constantly finding new ways to express yourself through your music.

What is the last thing that made you laugh?
I don’t laugh that much laughs. People tell me I’ve got a poker face and nobody can tell when I’m actually amused by something

If you were a shoe, what shoe would you be?
If I were a shoe, I would definitely be Balenciaga. Bold, sporty and making a statement.

What is your favourite food?
Steaks for sure. Without a doubt.

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Creative, being out there, and spotlights.

What is your favourte memory from your career thus far?
I was in Belgium in Afrojack’s studio. I made a track and he accidentally heard the track from outside the room and he said ‘play that track again’. He loved it and three weeks later he played it at Tomorrowland as part of his closing set.

What does authenticity mean to you?
Being yourself 100%. With music, you have to put yourself and your creativity first and respect your Saudi roots. And you must also learn how to connect with people. When it comes to producing music, I think you have to stay true to the roots of traditional arabic music that we grew up with and mix it with the new sounds and genres that we have now.

What does style mean to you?
Similar to music. Being yourself and being unique in terms of how you present yourself. Being both bold and sharp

kayan

KAYAN

With multitasking at the forefront, Kayan is no stranger to innovation. The DJ/Producer/Musician is blending classical music with the art of mixing. But what exactly makes her tick?

How do you plan on innovating the music industry in KSA?
By merging practices and various art forms, integrating sonic and visual art that tells stories about Saudi through it. I also plan on integrating live violin performances with DJ sets mixing eastern tuning of the instrument with western electronic foundations, ultimately reintroducing Saudi music with electronic music.

What is your creative ethos?
Do it for you because fame or exposure is there for a specific phase only. Music or any art form you practice should stay with you always and grow with you regardless of the level of exposure, you may get at any phase of your life. Be inspired and pay attention to the mysterious hidden details in life–they guide you to tell your story. And last but not least, be fully present in your performance.

If you could describe the way that you produce music in 3 words, what would they be?
Inner inspiration
Naturally flowing
Intricate

What do you think is the future of Sound and DJ in KSA?
The future is that most artists and DJs will have an established platform that will cater to their specialized field, and people’s taste and awareness will expand and specialize simultaneously. There is a lot of beauty to be discovered in Saudi music, whether presented purely or merged with other forms of music and through the exiting platform of artists.

Less is more or more is more?
A bit of both. Sometimes in certain tracks, less is more to take the lister on a journey. More technical shifts and progressive sound will stimulate the listener. For me, less is more when I do my violin. DJ performance. But definitely more is more when I integrate more than six instruments in a live set. Then would want a bigger sound and more varieties

What is style to you?
Style is living the full experience of what you are sharing with people or performing through a multidimensional experience that can take the listener on a journey. You are the full representation of what you’re performing in terms of sound, music, technology and even style of clothes. Style is showcasing a part of yourself or what you like to the world without having to say anything. Style speaks for itself.

What is authenticity to you?
It’s the way you treat people and how well you listen to everything and everyone that surrounds you, to really care and to do things with inspiration and defined intension, to add value to the scene and the industry.

DJ VIVA

Aerial arts and table-turning? Why not. The sky is the limit for DJ Viva–currently, the only musician globally who blends gymnastics with mixing. Here’s what she’s all about.

How do you plan on innovating the music industry in KSA?
I truly do believe in Robert Greene’s “The future belongs to those who learn more skills & combine them in creative ways”. Therefore, fusions are currently what I’m all about. I’m producing music that fuses the Saudi cultural aspects with electronic sounds, such as my track Stellar Mirage. To take it a step further and a bit more challenging, I’ve also started creating a DJ/Aerial Arts act, which is something new and it seems I’m the only one currently on this path. I think we will see more multi-talented artists surface in the coming years, as our industry develops further.

What is your creative ethos?
Creativity is giving a part of yourself to the world to enjoy, so give it your best! When you create something, whether its music, a painting, dance, writing, you’re going deep within yourself and taking something from within you to put forth into the world, for others to find joy in.

If you could describe the way that you produce music in 3 words, what would they be?
Intuitive, Selective, & Driven

What do you think is the future of Sound and DJ in KSA?
It looks like we are having a global impact at a very fast pace, with the creation of large-scale festivals such as MDL Beast, Freaks of Nature, Groove on the Grass, so I think our role as leaders in the industry is being established, and I would like to see our music industry progress into its own unique sound as far as originality. Arabic music is already recognizable in itself, so incorporating electro-arabic sounds more openly is a great approach and creates distinction.

Less is more or more is more?
Personally, less is more. Simplicity is key. When it comes to fashion, I love going classic & finding classic pieces to dress up with accessories. Have you ever seen how splendid a pair of Gucci 100 boots look on black leather tights with a black T-shirt? Or the new lacy Adidas tracksuit with a super pair of Balenciaga Speed Trainers? However, there are times where more is more, and glam is beautiful and expressive too. It all depends on what’s happening at any given time, and if you love style and fashion like I do, you’re up for whatever is required.

What is style to you?
I feel that style is expressing who you are at any given moment & embodying what you feel like. I believe in the “Look Good, Feel Good” philosophy. When I’m doing Aerial Arts, I dress for that and what will make me feel good and look good in my performance; when I DJ, I dress in a way that relates to that, and so forth. Exhibiting style in a certain way that fits what you feel empowers you and gives you confidence.

What is authenticity to you?
We’re living in an incredibly superficial age, saturated with social media expectations. To me, Authenticity is allowing our entire selves to shine, whether good days or bad days , weak or strong. It’s letting down our guard a bit without being afraid of other’s expectations of us. And that’s when you know the people who are truly team “you”, the people who love you wholistically no matter what.

– Production and curation of campaign is by Authenticite in partnership with Level Shoes.