For 21 year old Imad, his latest single "Makan" (with Samia) goes way beyond your basic melodic techno track.
Instead, the hauntingly atmospheric song was rewritten by the Lebanese and Nigerian artist after the devastating explosion in Beirut last August. It means "place" in Arabic.
"This was a turning point for many people in the country as the general economic, social and quality of life in Lebanon had deteriorated rapidly," said Imad, who divides his time between Beirut and London, in a press release. "(Samia and I) dedicated it to the relationship many of us have with Lebanon."
The resulting version of "Makan", originally composed as Imad's application for admission to Point Blank Music School in London, is a melting pot of culture and emotion. Samia's wafer-thin voice contrasts English texts with Arabic poetry: "I will always remember, cry and longingly, whenever I close my eyes I see the same place," they say. Meanwhile, the instrumentation of Jembe, Mbira, Kora and Oud mixes with analog synthesizers and throbbing bass beats.
“Living in Lebanon last year has been extremely tough, with constant power outages, WiFi crashes, fuel crises, economic collapses. It was a huge challenge to stay productive and get inspired, ”added Imad. "But through these moments you learn the most about yourself, your craft and appreciate the little things in life."