Catch up with singer-songwriter Emad Alaeddin and listen to his latest single, "Lucky Day", off his upcoming album, Love, Loss, & The In Between, set to be released this Fall.
What first got you interested in music?
Music has saved me from being a complete social outcast. Since as early as I could remember, I was a terrible stutterer and was constantly laughed at in school when I’d stutter my way through the easiest of words, such as my name. My parents had me see a few speech therapists but all seemed hopeless until we found one that advised that I stretch out my word speak as though I were singing. To my utter shock and surprise I said, or rather sang, my first sentence without a single stutter. The more I sang, the more confident I became and the less I stuttered when speaking normally. Whenever I would realize that the next word would give me difficulties I would say the word even if just the first syllable melodically and muscle through it.
I still stutter from time to time - I just had a bad one at a meeting last Tuesday - but these episodes are few and far between and I credit music for almost curing my ailment entirely.
Since music has figuratively saved my life, I feel inclined to commit my life to music.
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
Western icons like The Beatles and Michael Jackson and Arabic icons Fairuz were the ones that I listened to most growing up. However, it wasn’t until I listened to the stylings and harmonies of Layne Staley from Alice In Chains that I wanted to pursue music. Never had I heard so much depth, angst, and melancholy out of a human being and that rang so true to me with my struggles as a stutterer growing up. I’d always felt out of sync with the world because of my stuttering and the melodies and harmonies that Staley evoked helped me feel a connection with the world.
How would you describe your sound to someone who had never heard your music?
It’s modern pop rock with an Arabic twist to it.
What were your inspirations behind your single, "Lucky Day”?
I wrote it back in 2000 in Jordan after an all night affair helping out a friend with a flat tire. What should have been an easy fix turned into a movie-like turn of events including police, creepy cab drivers, and even UFOs. I must say when writing the lyrics out, it's funny that the final line says "when we're no longer young, you'll look back and say". I don't know, it made me so happy knowing that I'm indeed still good friends with all my loony friends involved in that Lucky Day. I got home at around 3:30 AM and didn’t go to bed until 6 when the entire song was complete.
Could you tell us more about your album, Love, Loss, & The In Between?
Both my love life, my work life, and where I lived suffered a major loss at the exact same time in 2014. I’d left the Middle East and with it I left my job and the band that I’d loved so much as well as someone that I’d cared for deeply. I came to the States with a clean slate and a serious case of post traumatic stress. It took me an entire year to feel a need to do music again. But with time I’d learned to deal with my new reality and I feel stronger than ever and more capable of taking the world on by myself. The in-between is the state that I’m in now where I’m neither in love nor do I feel a loss. And it’s a liberating feeling to not need anyone to feel complete, to feel a part of this world and society.
Could you sum up that album in one sentence?
This album is a timeline of what I have been through over the past two years and where I am now and it’s only fitting that it’s been entirely self-written and self-produced during the time in my life where I feel the most independent; or what I like to call “In-Between"
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
That they can do anything and be whoever they want to be without needing anyone. The world is a dangerous place but if you equip yourself with the proper strength and knowledge you can take on any challenge and achieve true happiness and freedom from within.
Is there anything you want to add?
On August 1, I’m going to be launching my Patreon page which will give the opportunity to my fans who want to support me to have access to exclusive content for a small monthly fee. This content that I’ll be releasing monthly will include alternate versions to songs that were featured on my 5 previous albums. Acoustic versions, acapella versions, electronic versions, and even songs that have been re-recorded and re-imagined with new vigor. My ability to record, produce, and mix my own material will allow me the ability to release these songs consistently without relying on others’ schedules. It will only require my time which, if my Patreon gets enough monthly donors, will allow me to concentrate and dedicate myself to my music fully.