We can all definitely agree that musical platforms such as SoundCloud, YouTube, Vimeo and many more have seen a surge in modern Arab musicians showcasing their talent to the world. In today’s edition of “Under The Spotlight”, we sat down with Michael Billeh, a 16 year old music producer based in Amman, Jordan.
VOME: For those who don’t know you, tell them about yourself!
Michael: Im a 16 year old high school junior, the eldest among 2 younger brothers, currently enrolled at The International School of Choueifat in Amman (SABIS). As much as I am into music, I try my best to diversify my interests such as track & field, working out and playing football. However, I do not let all of those activities to interfere with my daily life and distract me from my favorite academic subjects such as Physics, Mathematics, and Chemistry.
Im currently producing music under the name “EMBY”,which is basically the initials to my real name. It’s catchy!
VOME: How did you get into music production? Whom are your influences?
Michael: I basically inherited my love and appreciation towards music from my family which has supported me the entire time. The moment I got into music was when I started playing the percussions in the school band. Later on, I began to explore more melodic instruments which motivated me heavily to become a self-taught pianist. As I kept on practicing the piano and developing both my musical knowledge and talent, I wanted to be able to utilize such skills and showcase them to the real world. This is was definitely the turning point for me as an artist. I have a lot of influences, but the most vital ones were The Weeknd, Um Kolthoum, Flume, and Martin Garrix.
VOME: What is your thought process when starting a song? Do you have any rituals?
Michael: Honestly, there is no specific thought process. I personally just let my emotions and feelings determine when and what to start. As for my rituals, it’s a bit different from your typical music producer. Some artists prefer to get high to increase their creativity, others say a drink would get them working even better on a song. As for me, a few chicken shawerma sandwiches would do just fine.
VOME: Do you stick to one genre when producing or do you like to widen your horizons?
Michael: I usually don’t stick to one genre as I am constantly experimenting and trying to find my own style and signature. At the end of the day, quality over quantity matters the most. I prefer not to rush things.
VOME: What are your thoughts regarding the music scene in the Middle East? Do you think it’s getting better compared to a decade ago?
Michael: Compared to a decade ago, we currently have more highly advanced and better music softwares which allows us, music producers, access to all sorts of musical instruments from our own bedroom. As for the music platforms, the likes of SoundCloud, Spotify, YouTube, and even more helped a lot with giving exposure to all music enthusiasts and artists. I personally hope the music scene grows even more in the Middle East, we have a huge amount of talented artists that do not receive the recognition and appreciation they deserve.
VOME: Describe yourself in 3 words!
Michael: I would describe myself as persistent, patient, and straight- forward.
Check out Michael’s set which is currently available our SoundCloud!