We all grow up with dreams.. Some want to be racecar drivers, female astronauts, footballers, ambassadors, businessmen, ninjas, I wanted to be a fire truck (disappointed from a very young age).. My good friend Hassan had a dream just like everyone one of us.. His dream involved music, rock n roll to be more precise.. While we were all contemplating that greedy feeling burning inside of us, Hassan was actually thinking about performing in front of a sea of people.. He was cracking smiles to the eventual sound of the audience singing his music back to him.. the reveries we all have..
During his time away from home in a very far away place where people didn’t care where he was from or what his last name was, he decided to delve headfirst into music. He started singing any chance he got, and eventually joined up with some guys to form a band. Eventually, his time away from Bahrain was up and Hassan came back, but this time, he came back with recordings.
Since my return to Bahrain, just over three years ago, we all spent countless hours fooling about microphones, recording, jamming, banging on the drums, writing silly music, yelling for more cowbell and heading into the staww-dio for a secret listen.. Andy believed in Hassan’s music and put his career in London on hold to come and help with the mixing.. After countless hours and hours of mixes, takes and more takes, and convincing the band to come to Bahrain to rerecord the work - there was an even more polished sound.. this was definitely something to shop around.. I remember Hassan dragging me into the studio, and playing what they’ve been working on, and me thinking this is fucking amazing. I was actually listening to the birth of this music, I was around when he was scribbling some words together and now those words and music are blasting through the speakers and sounding epic.
I don’t know if you can actually imagine what kind of effort is required to cut an album, and what it takes to do it from the Middle East. Allow me to sum it up for you: it’s damn near impossible – forget about the relationships you are forced to sever, the friendships that can’t stand the stress, business and the opinions you need to shelve, the continual feeling that it’s just you facing this monumental task of realizing this dream.. Cutting an album, having it produced, and then pushing out to a market that has never really heard an Arab fronting a rock n roll band? That is some serious weight to deal with, but my friend soldiered on..
It was the music, 80s Ian and Hassan that convinced Simon Napier-Bell out of semi-retirement and to take on this project.. Through Simon’s guidance the band was properly put together, pushed into a studio and the music was reworked.. this time the music sounded different, this time, the people producing the music were the same people that have produced a lot of the records that we all have in our cd libraries. This time, the buzz was getting bigger.. This time Hassan was moved to London, where the band continued their music, where they performed at clubs, and where the record labels took serious notice..
And what now? I am so proud to actually let you know that brothermandude’s first music video is available for your viewing pleasure on youtube. Directed by Kevin Godley (from Godley and Crème fame) who’s directed a whole plethora of U2 and Sting videos. He’s most recently directed what WAS my favorite new video “is it any wonder” by keane – (the one with the camera on a minirollercoaster track – very cool indeed).. watch it..
Watching the video last night on youtube solidified a lot of things for me: that feeling I got when I sat in the studio with Hassan while he played back his music, the days when your friend would turn to you for your opinion no matter how honest you were, the pride and “hell yeahs” screamed into the phone when he’d call us to share good news from London.. this was all coming together.. all of it.. and we’re all here pumping our fists in the air cheering on our friend and his dream, to make some fucking amazing music…
brothermandude, check it out.. watch the music video, preorder the cd…