Friday, April 24, 2020

Palestinian/Lebanese Rapper anees releases his first song "Neverland Fly"


To be honest, I find it really refreshing to chat with a rapper like "anees" who is half Palestinian/half Lebanese based in Washington DC, USA. He's someone that brings a lot of positivity and great vibes through his instagram posts/stories and LIVES....So, it makes total sense to me to feature him on Re-Volt the moment he decided to drop "officially" his first single on streaming platforms... He's good people and I do love his flow, lyrics, it brings me joy listening to him...

I caught up with anees the moment he released his song "Neverland Fly" which you can stream anywhere now and watch the video posted below... I am posting this now, and the song has been out for couple of weeks now and I am loving the reaction hes been getting, he also just told me that he will be working with "ThanksJoey" ,  one of the dopest producers at the moment that works closely with nikohigh, Narcy and Offendum ...

To Re-Volt readers, followers and supporters.. I introduce to you ...

Re-Volt: Give re-volt readers a quick intro about you, where you from, when did you start rapping, what got you into it? 

anees: I'm Anees. I am a hip hop/indie pop artist from the Washington DC area. I've been rapping since a young age. I started freestyling at 15 but I only began my pursuit of a career as a hip-hop artist last January. 

RE-VOLT:Watching your stories and videos has always given me positive vibes, it is the "way you rap", your "Flow", the topics you discuss in your writing. How did the love for writing start? Who inspires you? 

anees:Man, my love for writing began with a love for words. I grew up on word games. Smart Mouth, Scrabble, Boggle, crossword puzzles, you name it. Finding ways to play with words, letters, syllables, has always been a rush for me. When I'm crafting rhyme schemes and word-smithing, I am truly alive. I'm inspired by artists who do the same, the elite lyricists of music. And I'm not just talking about rappers or singers, I draw inspiration from any writer who weaves wonder from words. I've drawn inspiration from Nas, Eminem, J. Cole, Immortal Technique, Los, Kanye, Bill Withers, John Mayer, Jim Croce, India Arie, the list goes on. And, of course, we cannot have a discussion about inspired writing without at least reverencing the true GOAT, Khalil Gibran. 

RE-VOLT: You just released your first single "Neverland Fly" , how do you feel? i know its been 2 days, but if you can explain the process of releasing this first song? How long did it take you to actually take this step? (im so proud of you)(this was sent 2 days after he released the track)

anees:  It's surreal to have my own song streaming on major platforms. I'm still processing the experience and taking it all in. It took about 15 months to get to this juncture of my journey. I'm grateful and humbled to be where I'm at. I'm trying to be mindful and enjoy the moment, but also making sure to remember that my next single has to be on deck. 

RE-VOLT: One of the great things about your content is the fact that you always consistent, how hard is it to maintain that consistency? 

anees: To be honest, it's not hard at all. I'm hungry. I wan't this bad. When I love something, when I'm truly passionate about something, there is nothing else I'd rather do. I can't do anything less than everything I can do. Every second spent working on my craft is thrilling. Every step I take in this journey is a micro-adventure. A story within a story. It's crazy easy to be consistent, when you're living your dreams. 

RE-VOLT: Do you miss Vlogging? And will you go back to it? :) 

anees: I'm surprised you even knew about my vlog, lol. Yeah man, I low-key do miss vlogging. Vlogging was my first step into a full-time creative life. It holds a dear place in my heart. The time I spent vlogging was so formative to me as visionary and as a creative. I will definitely make more vlogs at some point, maybe once I'm touring... Hopefully that means soon. 

RE-VOLT: As you know, I am a big supporter of the Arabic Hip-Hop movement, who are your fav rappers from Arabia? 

anees: If we're including Arab rappers living in the Western Hemisphere, I gotta go with my OG's: Offendum and Narcy. While we're talking on OG's I love me some DAM, and you can't understate their influence on the craft in the homeland. Another artist who comes to mind is BiGSaM. A friend put me on to his music this past year and I was taken back by the remarkable balance he carries between a venomous flow and groovy rhythm. 

RE-VOLT:It seems that you have many many songs written, what made you decide to release your first single with 'Neverland Fly"? 

anees: I just knew I had to get my first song streaming. I have 12 other complete songs that are waiting in the pipeline, but you've got to start with one step. "Neverland Fly" is that one step for me. It was the splash I needed to get my feet wet, to introduce me to listeners, and to get the ball rolling. I made the decision a while ago, but I needed help to get the timing right. Shoutout to my homies Tantu Beats and Zak G for engineering this track and helping me get it across the finish line.

RE-VOLT:You help people with your music. Who helps you? 

anees: Everybody. I believe in humanity. I think we all help each other. I believe we are all connected in ways we will never fully understand. Interactions with others bring me joy. So everybody helps me. And as much as I may help my listeners, they help me tenfold. I think my followers/FAM base and I have a very symbiotic relationship. I am blessed by them in ways I could never deserve. But if I had to pick one person, my wife is my greatest help, hands down. She supports the vision and embraces all the madness that comes with it. She makes this music journey possible. Without her, there is no way we are even having this interview in the first place. 

RE-VOLT:How does the family feel about your music? and what was the Best Reaction you received from your fans? 

anees: They are extremely supportive. Borderline fanatical. I couldn't be more blessed in that regard. They have probably plugged my music to a cumulative million people by now. No lie. Oh man, the best reaction? I received crazy amounts of love, but I think the best reaction was my mom's. She's the president of the fanclub. When I got back home from my IG live song-release listening party, which I hosted in my car till about 2AM, she was waiting at the front door to welcome me home with a glass of scotch. That's the winner. 

RE-VOLT: Does your Arab Background play a role in your music? If so, will we ever see you use that in future releases? 

anees: I believe my background DOES play a role in my music, in the sense that my culture informed many of my values and views on the world. I am never afraid to make reference to my Arab Background and I'm proud to promote my people and my culture. I don't know how explicitly that comes across in my music, but we shall see. The future is a mystery but I'm open minded to collabo with artists from homeland, that would be incredibly special

RE-VOLT: Tell re-volt something NOT a lot of people know about you... 

anees: I am a licensed attorney in the Commonwealth of Virginia. But I have never spent a day practicing, nor do I ever intend to.

Friday, April 17, 2020


It only took few seconds to fall in love with the sound of shqzu, I hit him up and I became a fan instantly...

From Sudan, through Riyadh to the world... REMEMBER THIS NAME VERY WELL !!

Quick Q&A with the man himself:

RE-VOLT: How did it all start with you? and what's behind the name shqzu? 

SHQZU: It was 2009, we’d kick it me and a group of friends some of us were still in High School but at that time I had graduated. We’d pick an instrumental off YouTube write to it and record using one of those Headsets that came with a microphone, back then used for Skype Calls I used to go by ShaQ and that’s after my father’s name Shakir (NOT SHAQUILLE O'NEAL), I was thinking of how I needed to standout and it was quite frustrating living the shadow of a great NBA player haha I was inspired by an article I read about the Zulu tribe and their leader at a certain point in time SHAKA ZULU, so it was metaphorically beautiful and inspired a lot, that’s where it first originated “Shaqazulu” then I just had to like come up with an abbreviation because it was quite long so I finally settled on SHQZU, sounded dope. 

RE-VOLT: You Sudanese, based in Riyadh. When did you move there? 

SHQZU: I came to Saudi Arabia in December 2018, like literally 48hrs before the Sudan revolted. I was in Khobar then after that moved to Riyadh in June 2019, I liked it here more to be honest.

You have a chilling vibe, love the wordplay, what inspires you in rap at the moment? 

SHQZU:Appreciate it bro, umm well I kind of get inspired by many different things, it inspires me seeing fellow artists unlocking their potentials and setting milestones, I love collaborating. 
Like when two or more artists come together and there’s chemistry and each present their own ideas, their own touch and be able to just capture that vibe and deliver I don’t know what to tell you, that’s just beautiful! 

- Who are your top MC's in Sudan? 

SHQZU: Well this is a tough pick... We have so much great talents back in Sudan bro, some of them not as popular as others, but there are countless dope talents and I’m just talking about the ones I had come across or met, I’m pretty sure there is a lot more, anyways I’ll name a few of my personal favourites, not in order of course... - Naj - AhmediHussein - O’D - Ace - The Circle - A7md - Flippter - YoungJustus - Oddisee ...You see I just had to stop myself because I could seriously keep going for days haha - 

Who are your top MC's ever? give me a top 5?
SHQZU: Well the first Hip hop track I ever heard when I was a kid was a Tupac track, so yeah I’ll play it safe and in no order - Tupac - Biggie - Jay Z - Nas - Method Man But to make it clear, you can ask me this same question on a different day and get a different answer, I guess today is this kind of day - 

Your production is mad dope! What's the process of your production, who is a producer that inspires you? 

SHQZU: Much love much love fam I really appreciate it... Well first of all I love beats, (I mean like who doesn’t...) but I love sampled beats! Especially those with vocal samples and soulful vibes, man I live for that. 

The process is umm I listen to music often, usually not Hip hop when I’m in the mood to make music though, so I’m usually playing the music while doing other stuff and I would usually come across a certain sound or vibe that steals my attention and qualifies for a “sound I would go for” in the music I’m making. 
At that point its either I’d start beat making right away or I’d just label it for later, depends. Producers there is also a lot that I love and aspire to be like for example there’s J Dilla, No ID, 9th Wonder, DJ Premier and back in the day Kanye 

J Dilla
Have you ever thought about rapping in Arabic? 
SHQZU: Actually I’ve been told a lot the “Why don’t you rap in Arabic your mother tongue etc. etc.”, therefore I actually did work on a couple tracks where I spit in Arabic, Sudanese dialect to be precise. So the answer is Yes, I did

Tell us about the "111" EP. I LOVE IT!!! How long did it take you to put it out there? 

SHQZU: 111 is the story of how I silenced my negative thoughts and second guessing and pushed through to get back to making music, In numerology 111 signifies the manifestation of your thoughts, it’s said one should be mindful of what they constantly think about as these thoughts good or bad come into reality. 

So 111 to me is an audio representation of how I gradually stepped out of a “negative thought loop” into a more brighter or a positive perspective, it’s a fresh start and a new beginning. I’m constantly making beats some of them I end up using some of them I don’t, but I put aside a certain set of beats and started writing and recording to sometime around mid-Sept 2019, the project release was on the 11th of Jan 2020. 

Is there a story behind "homeboiii"? :) 

SHQZU: Initially I was going to name it “Overthink”, like you know, how most of us do! But as I mentioned I was trying to overcome the negativity and have a positive approach in presenting this project therefore I had created this, my alter ego aka Homeboiii. This was an introduction and I’m going to dive into that persona more and more in the near future insha’Allah just stay tuned!

In the EP "111" which track is the most personal to you? (i know all of them are but if you given a shot to give a track out of ur EP to Sway, to play it, Which one would you send and why?" 
SHQZU: Well you already know that it’s really hard to pick out just one because they’re practically like a story building up haha but umm I can say this...the most personal track “although it changes with time” and the track I would give to Sway if I were to, are not the same haha If I was to get a record to spin on the radio I’d probably say “Been There” because it kind of summarizes the whole theme of this project and has a sort of an uplifting good vibe, nice to bump while cruising or during traffic and stuff “the whole project is actually, I recommend you check it out this link” 

RE-VOLT: Any shout outs you would like give...

SHQZU: I definitely have to shout out every single soul that made it possible for this project to come about and those that inspired me to make a “comeback” in the first place...I’m going to drop their Instagram accounts if you don’t mind... 

- The man behind the cover art of the project who is also a really talented rapper and a visual artist Ace @iam.vce 

- Visual arts by my very good friend the talented Muhammad Mahboub @kayboxthefirst 

- The painting, that covered almost 70% of the cover art, which was actually created around the same time this project was being made and was quite an inspiration for the direction of this project, both the art and the artist. 

Made by this amazing talent Aya Atif @_aaa_ya

 - And of course shout out @bahrainibruh and each and every one that supported me throughout and all my friends my family even if I don’t mention names know you’re always in mind and heart, one love! 

RE-VOLT:You & KAFV... Collabo Soon? 

SHQZU: KAFV is good friend of mine and we’ve known each other for a long time, so yes definitely you could expect some *fire emojis* real soon haha 

RE-VOLT: Tell Re-Volt Something not a lot of people know about you 

SHQZU: I’m a 27yr old, born and raised in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Studied in Malaysia then moved to Sudan and now in Saudi Arabia. Most of my friends are really dope artists I used to think it was a coincidence but yeah. I’m a Scorpio and I think the language of love is somewhere between food and music....PEACE!