Hamza Hawsawi’s breakout moment came in 2015, when he won the fourth season of The X Factor Middle East, though, he’s always loved singing. The Saudi artist began recording when he was 14-years-old, sometimes on cassettes or on, his words, “Very basic computer programs.” A few years later, he started performing on stage for the first time under the stage name Ayzee. “My first introduction to music as a passion and a borderline obsession was when I watched Michael Jackson for the first time,” he shares. “That was the moment I felt like there is more to music than what I knew at the time.”
Today, the Jeddah-born singer, who is known for his soulful R&B tracks, counts opening up for Justin Bieber in 2017 and performing at the Globe Soccer Awards 2018 in Dubai as career highlights. Additionally, he was featured a few times on Apple Music’s curated playlists, including New Gulf Playlist, which further allowed him to reach new audiences across the world. As for what’s next for the star? “I am working on a few new projects,” he shares. “Some will be singles and probably an EP is on the way as well so that is something I am extremely excited for,” he muses.
Here, Hawsawi opens up about his biggest career obstacles and reveals the artists he would love to collaborate with.
Who are some artists that you look up to?
“Michael Jackson, Prince, Joe, Boys II Men, Coldplay, Marvin Gaye, and Frank ocean, to name a few.”
What have been some career obstacles, if any?
“The obstacles usually take the shape of the hurdles or issues that we may face as artists, while having no blue print on how to deal with them so we do our best to gain the knowledge to overcome them. That has to do with performances, it has to do with the business side of things, and how to go about them. So it is something that me and a lot of artist who do what I do in region have to go through, which is to be mostly in a constant state of trial and error, but the end game is a lot of knowledge, experience, and opportunity.”
Which songs do you currently have on repeat?
“Love Scene by Joe, Coldplay’s O, Better by Khalid, and Bury a Friend by Billie Eilish.”
Who would you love to collaborate with?
“H.E.R, Billie Eilish, Daniel Caesar, Joe, Coldplay.”
Where do you hope to see yourself in the next 5 years?
“On bigger international stages, a lot more music to be released and absolutely more collaborations with Apple.”