Flash Entertainment is continuing its Regional Artist Spotlight initiative to defend regional musical talents …
Lebanese-Palestinian freelance singer-rapper Anees firmly believes that music is meant to heal. It is with this mantra in mind that prompts him to focus on creating music that he believes is “good for the soul …”
What’s On: How did you first come to music?
Years: I was brought up in a musical household. Growing up we had a small house, but a third of it was a space we called the “music room”. I think I had no choice but to get into music. I was immersed in the rhythm and the melody from day one. But my art started when I was 15 and I tried freestyle for the first time. The thrill of chaining rhymes and melodies on the fly was a life-changing feeling. There was no turning back. Music has been my therapy ever since.
WO: How would you describe the music you make?
A: My music is genderless. I do not fit in any box. I have a fusion of pop, hip-hop, R&B, soul and a number of other genres. But other than the “sound” of my music, I would say the tone is best described as “healing music”. I make music from my soul to connect with yours. It’s the kind of music that I love the most, so it’s the music that I feel called to create.
WO: Who are the artists, or the people, who inspire you?
A: Too many artists to name, but let’s pick five: Lauryn Hill, India Arie, John Mayer, Jim Croce and Immortal Technique. Apart from music, my inspirations are my relatives, my family and my closest friends. But the truth is, anyone who has the courage to choose to follow their heart inspires me. Dreamers inspire me. People who defy fear inspire me.
WO: What are your last musical successes?
A: This month we hit five million total streams on Spotify – it was crazy. I started releasing music last year. So we have come a long way in a relatively short period of time. I also just released an R&B song What do lovers do, that was a major goal for me. To think outside the box even more and create a whole new sound was a big victory.
WO: What does your creative process look like?
A: My creative process almost always starts with freestyle. I like to let my creative impulse lead the way. I’ll sit, maybe with a beat, maybe in silence, and record myself as I spit out melodies, hooks and verses. Then, once I’m done, I’ll listen to the recording and choose my favorite gold nuggets. From there, I’ll sit down with my lyrics, sometimes for months. I will massage them until they tell the right story for me. One has the impression of writing a novel. I want the story to be served.
WO: What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?
A: Fear. The fear of time, judgment and success. Whenever fear creeps into the picture, only bad things follow. In my most anxious times, I tend to let my fears take the wheel. Finding a way to remove fear from the creative process, or at least ignore fear, is a constant challenge for me. Once I get over this hurdle, I think my biggest and most beautiful work will come out.
WO: What is the highlight of your career so far?
A: Have the strength to listen to my heart and challenge my fears. It was the biggest decision I ever made, right after marrying my wife. Whatever the numbers, the awards, or the recognition, it depends on God, but the fact that I’m a full-time artist is something I’m extremely proud of. I like what I do everyday. For this reason alone, I am successful.
WO: Where did you play?
A: I just played at MusikFest with my brother Zach Matari. It was amazing to share the stage with someone I really care about as an artist and a friend. This must be at the top of the list for me. But to be honest, this was my very first live performance, so she wins by default. But in 2022, we’re going to festivals and touring non-stop. It’s time to go meet my fans in person.
WO: What are your last outings? What’s the story behind them?
A: In april i gave up To glide, a love song about my wife. It’s fun and passionate. It is the story of our love. In July, I gave up Drunk on myself, a self-love song. This song is about the importance of loving yourself first. I wrote it to remind my listeners that love must emanate from within your heart before it can be shared. My last outing What do lovers do abandoned in October. It’s a song about searing romance. I know what it’s like to love someone deeply and pray that the feelings are mutual, so I did an R&B song about that emotion.
WO: Which of these releases is your favorite and why?
A: I would say that What do lovers do is my favorite for two reasons. One, because it’s the latest version. I try to stay as present as possible. Whatever song I’m currently focusing on, it will have my favor. But it’s also just my best job. It’s so much more dynamic than my previous songs. There is groove, texture, passion, melody and punch. I feel like I’m growing as an artist with every song, and What do lovers do is proof of this evolution.
WO: Are you working with other artists at the moment?
A: Yes. But I have to keep this DL information for now. Once we’re ready to announce these collaborations, I know my fans will be thrilled. I have had the chance to connect with amazing artists that I admire. Social media has really opened those doors for me, so kudos to my followers who continually tag artists in my posts. I can promise you: 2022 is going to be a year of collaboration for me.
WO: What is your passion outside of music?
A: Nature. I love the trees, the birds, the bees, the clouds, the water, the blue sky and the sounds. I think our planet is our greatest blessing and I am always in awe of its splendor. Once I am a truly global artist, I will buy a farm and spend my days surrounded by the colors, sounds, sights and scents of the Earth.
WO: What does your involvement in the Regional Artist Spotlight mean to you?
A: I am absolutely honored to be featured on the Regional Artist Spotlight. I feel honored to present and I hope I can bring peace, joy and love to all who discover my art through this Spotlight. As a freelance artist, gaining exposure to a global audience is a dream come true. I do not take this opportunity lightly. It is a blessing. I am eternally grateful to you for judging me worthy of your time, attention and focus.
What is your top 5 afters playlists?
- What is Luv? – Fat Joe ft. Ja Rule & Ashanti
- At the time -Mike Jones
- Kiss Me – Six pence none the richest
- Faded away – Nsync
- What do lovers do – Years