BEIRUT: Michael Jackson once said “to live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm.”
Music is not merely a form of entertainment; it is also used by people as a way of expression and a therapy for stress. Not only that, but it is a crucial tool for social bonding and bringing people together.
People listen to hit songs every day; they sing them in the shower, whistle them at work, and surf the radio hoping to hear their favorites. Hit songs can turn a singer into a celebrity, but often music producers are the unsung heroes behind their scenes.
Jimmy Haddad, the 30-year-old producer of many major hits in Lebanon, explains what the job of a music producer is.
“It’s all about emotion. When I produce music, my main aim is to create an emotional bond between the listener and the music," Haddad said, adding that "no matter what genre the song is, I always focus on delivering the highest emotion to the listener, through the musical elements that I use."
“Whether I’m using modern electronic sounds and rhythms or natural instruments, the sole function of these elements is to take the listener on an emotional trip,” the producer told Annahar.
Jimmy Haddad’s musical journey started when he was 15-years-old, when he used to produce hip hop songs for local bands “just for fun.”
At 18, he drifted towards Electronic music and one of his songs charted in the top 10 of Beatport.com, one of the biggest electronic music websites for DJs and electronic music enthusiasts around the world. This was a portal for many gigs that he played in Germany, Vienna, and Lebanon.
Afterwards, he received a job offer in a digital marketing company and started working there. However, soon enough, he realized that a 9-to-5 job is not his thing, which encouraged him to leave the job and open up his own recording studio.
“Considering that I rarely listened to Arabic music growing up, it took me a while to get accustomed to the components of Arabic Hits. I had a rocky start in the industry,” Haddad said.
“I still refused to have a 9 to 5 job where other people take credit for my intelligence. After two years of hard work and persistence, my first major hit was Nassif Zeytoun’s song “Adda w Edood” that reached 32 million views on YouTube,” he added.
Many qualities are essential to reach success in any personal career. According to Haddad, a music producer should be disciplined, practical, and a risk-taker. However, out of all these qualities, nothing breeds success like “persistence;” no matter what domain a person is in, there’s always going to be ups and downs,;and persistence is what helps that person outlast the hard times and become successful.
To reach his goals, Haddad had to realize it was necessary to take the opinion of others into consideration, but preserve his own creative vision during the production process.
He explained that his musical knowledge was acquired through long nights of analyzing songs, reading articles on production techniques, and watching DIY YouTube videos.
His career took further shape in the hit songs produced for artists like Nassif Zeytoun, Jad Choueiri, Rabih Baroud, Anthony Touma, Reem el Sheriff, and Mohammad Attia.
Haddad is currently working on projects with Ziad Borji, Nader el Atat, Saad Ramadan, Amer Zayyan, Jad Katrib, and Marc Maarawi. However, his favorite musical projects remain Nassif Zeytoun’s “Adda w Edoud,” which was the number one song in 2015 on Anghami; “Birabek” which was number one in 2016; and “Majbour,” the song of “Al Hayba” series, which was number one on Anghami in Summer 2017.
He said what is so distinctive about his music production is that he always listens to new music and widens his perception, since to him music is infinite and ever-evolving.
“A producer should evolve with the music and not get stuck in a certain era. Life is moving faster by the day; so is music. For a song to become a hit, it needs to be as simple as possible and needs to deliver the message in the fastest and easiest form to the listener. In music, just like in everything else, less is always more,” Haddad said.
Haddad wrapped up with the advice to newcomers that the key to making is to “believe in oneself.”
If you believe that you’re going to make it, you will, no matter what the obstacles are. But if you don’t believe that you are the guy that should be leading the industry, no one ever will.” Haddad told Annahar.
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