Saudi star Aseel Omran named 1st regional ambassador for Dior

0

BELGRADE: “I have this weird connection to eternity.” So says Jeddah-based songwriter and producer Sliman Dawood about his “stage name” of EON – an apt artistic epithet given his propensity for playing the long game.

Dawood is certainly not intimidated by wholesale reinvention. Only a few years ago, he was better known as Jinx, an up-and-coming rapper, when he changed his mind.

“I was going through a transition, personally and musically,” he says, “so I felt that name no longer suited me. My horizons were expanding, I was experimenting with my sound to find something that really worked for me, and things fell into place with “EON”.

Only a few years ago, he was better known as Jinx, an up-and-coming rapper, when he changed his mind. (Provided)

One of the major aspects of Dawood’s evolution was his focus on expanding his range as a performer. “I really worked on my voice, which allowed me to be much more diversified in my way of approaching my music, he explains. “Emotionally, being able to sing hits all the right notes, so to speak.”

As EON, the composer has yet to play a single show and is currently working on his debut album. But the handful of singles he’s released so far have already caught the eye (and ear) of Saudi independent label Wall of Sound Records, which signed Dawood in late 2020.

“Everyone there is like family to me. The conventional wisdom is that you fear and distrust record companies, but with Wall of Sound, they’re not just helping me as an artist, but also on a personal level. It’s almost like having a therapist. That’s how great they are.

One of the major aspects of Dawood’s evolution was his focus on expanding his range as a performer. (Provided)

The confidence and comfort he derives from the relationship with his label is evident in the way Dawood has crafted his Wall of Sound releases to this day. The seamless fusion of ethereal synthwave, electro-R&B beats and delicate vocal passages that define 2020’s “Again” are a clinical showcase of promising emerging talent coming into its own.

Last year’s “Precious Nightmare” saw Dawood move into darker, more pensive territory with nocturnal instrumentation that only serves to further illustrate the musician’s depth and confidence in his new identity. Fans also noticed; the track garnered over 300,000 streams on Anghami in its first week on the platform.

“I have a clear vision of what I want. I think it’s important to keep it diverse, but I also try to lock in a specific sonic character. There will be songs that will sound more hip-hop/trap, while others will have a more R&B flavor,” Dawood told Arab News. “I usually tell stories about my own experiences, and now I feel a shift happening in my life, so the music is definitely going to reflect that.”

His passion for musical exploration is also fueled by what he sees in the local and regional scene around him. (Provided

0Dawood’s self-proclaimed eclecticism is on display on “Gemini”, his most recent release. Elegantly atmospheric and irresistibly rhythmic at the same time, the track speaks, he says, “about the love and the change that I can see around me. There’s a new world just around the corner… I wanted to convey the feeling of warping through two different lives.

Dawood is an avid gamer and admits that “it can be a way of procrastinating, but I try to make it a strength, especially when it comes to story-based games with rich, relatable worlds and inspiring soundtracks”. He also cites a diverse range of influences, from Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West to rock bands like Evanescence and Pierce The Veil.

His passion for musical exploration, however, is also fueled by what he sees in the local and regional scene around him. “I’m thrilled to see how much talent we have not only in Saudi Arabia, but in the whole Middle East in general. People are constantly innovating by combining different styles of music and engaging in the kind of experimentation that we we need to leave our mark on a larger scale.

As he continues to create his debut album and prepare for his first performances as EON, Dawood is keeping tabs on his sense of duty to the community. “The way I hope to portray all of this is to show that we can make music that stays true to our influences but also has a particular flavor that makes it very unique,” he says. “The creativity is there, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Share.

Comments are closed.