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This Saudi Duo is Reshaping the Gulf’s Hip Hop Scene

Portrait of AlGyadat AlOlya.

Considered one of the top hip hop groups in the Gulf, AlGyadat AlOlya, is a Saudi rap duo that comprises Jeddah-based Randar and Ahmed Saddam. Having recently signed to the label company, RealTalk Music in 2018, the hip hop act where both teenagers when they first discovered their passion for music. Ahmed recalls, “I used to listen to the song “Lonely” by Akon on repeat, and I remember thinking, ‘This is the type of music I want to create,'”. Meanwhile, Randar drew his inspiration from a completely different genre. “For me, my passion for music started with Bob Marley, and more specifically, the song “One Love,” he shares.

Though the friends had differentiating taste when it came to their musical choices, they would go on to kickstart their career together as an underground rap duo in 2008, before debuting their first album, “Shake Almalya”. As for what’s next? “We are currently working on our next album and shooting some video clips,” they reveal. Meanwhile, having their music on platforms like Apple Music means that they can connect with music lovers from all over the world, a feat that is not lost on them. “Someone in New York can tune in to our tracks produced in Saudi Arabia. How awesome is that?”

Below, get to know the duo behind AlGyadat AlOlya.

Who are some of the artists you look up to?
“Eminem is our icon. He continues to grow his fan base and create amazing music and that is what we hope to achieve in the future.”

When did you decide to take music from a hobby and to a full-fledged career?
“We started out in 2008 as underground artists but music became a full-fledged career when we started singing with RealTalk Music professionally in 2018.”

What have been some obstacles, if any?
“Community acceptance was a great challenge for our as our music pushes new boundaries and is quite bold.”

Which songs do you currently have on repeat?
Ahmed: “It’s actually one of our last album tracks, called ‘Alvito’.”
Randar: “Algeria” by Soulking.”

Who would you love to collaborate with?
Ahmed: “Soulking, for sure.”
Randar: “Ice Cube.”

Where do you hope to see yourself in the next five years?
“We hope that the Middle East will soon offer a platform similar to the Grammy’s, whereby talented regional artists and their music can be celebrated. We need every opportunity to speak to our fans and tell them our story. Not to mention, we would love to dress up and walk down a red carpet with few trophies.”

Now Read: Hamdan Al Abri on What it Takes to Launch a Music Career

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