From Tunis to Paris, and now in Dubai: DJ & Producer Ali A.K.A. ‘Aeli’ brings us a multi-cultured dosage of dope Neo Hip-Hop tunes. What is Neo Hip-Hop you may ask? Well Aeli might have just the explanation.
“I believe my music represents the spirit of Dubai. This city is a magnificent complex mess. People here are from all over the world and are present here in this particular moment”, Aeli says. Maybe this is the type of musical inspiration that Dubai’s audience has long-awaited. “My musical identity is a mixture of my roots, the city I’m from, the city I lived in, and the city I live in. Expressed with my different feelings of one particular moment.”
Even though he had only started listening to Hip-Hop music 5 years ago, Aeli managed to use that to his advantage by mixing his rock music background into Hip-Hop to make his music more “energetic, harmonic, and free” as he describes; hence giving birth to a new style: Neo Hip-Hop.
Every successful artist has an individualistic sound, and Aeli’s throws back to his Tunisian heritage. He enjoys merging his identity into his soundtracks to add an even more unique sound to his jingle. “I like bands and producers that have their own sound, like the Mars Volta, Nine Inch Nails, The Neptunes, Timbaland, Dr. Dre”, he says. His main concern about the music industry is that originality is disappearing, and plagiarism is mistaken for inspiration.
Aeli’s musical journey started when he was 11, when he started off as an autodidact on an electric guitar (that he got for his 11th birthday – talk about lucky!), then he got more serious and started learning guitar (jazz), drums (rock) and piano (classic).
Later on, he played in several Neo-Punk and Experimental Rock bands in Tunisia and Paris, then performed with the Ursula Minor in Fusion Festival in Germany, then went solo afterwards – where he began his Hip-Hop route and started his professional journey by getting a Music Certificate from the SAE Institute.
Today, Aeli moved from celebrating with friends and friends of friends, to celebrating his latest album release “Late Future Calls” surrounded by people he didn’t know partying alongside him, listening to his music, buying his album and merchandise! “It was the first time for me as a Producer/DJ to see the crowd vibing on music that I composed, wearing clothes that I designed and buying my CDs and USBs to listen to the album”, he says. People recognize him for his “Guasba Lik” track, played in parties. “Unintentionally, this track is a hit.”
With Aeli’s spontaneous nature, it’s no shock that he doesn’t follow a certain routine to his musical process. His inspiration could come from listening to underrated music or ideas from other producers, or even just his mood. However, when producing, he starts with setting up the tempo, playing a draft drum loop and jamming to it with thousands of different sounds until he finds what he’s looking for – his key to making music is working on loops.
Today, AELI’s music is getting global recognition. His latest Album ‘Late Future Calls’ has been remixed by international stars, including Deft, Daedelus, Kobra, Know V.A, and Nasrawi! This is not only huge for Aeli’s career, but for our Dubai music scene in general. Listen and get your copy here.
What is YOUR idea of the route to musical success, and what do you think the sound of Dubai should be? Let us know in the comments!