Majaz: A hidden gem from Bahrain

Majaz is a new band based in Bahrain. The band was formed in 2013 and consists of five musicians who have previous experiences in creating music, enriching the music scene of Bahrain through their various projects. Majaz creates a unique sound and style that show hidden talents which need to be supported.

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Photo Credit: Zeyad Ebrahim Jirjawi, Photo edit : Zahid Al-Bulooshi

Enriching the local Music Scene

The band members of Majaz (which means in Arabic “Metaphor“) knew each other before they started this project. As one of the band members explained they “formed Majaz to play only just for fun but after our first show we received a great feedback from people and musicians alike, so we decided to take this band more seriously”. All of the members have played in different projects before joining the band mostly based in the Metal and Rock genre. Abdulla Faisal (Percussions) is engaged in his solo project Boffais  with which he composed songs in Arabic, English and Spanish and Hameed Al Saeed (Guitarist) rocks the scene with the band Silverlake “which is described as an oddity in the local music scene.” Through these different projects and in addition taking Majaz to a more professional level, they provide the local music scene with a fresh and unique sound that will help to boost the local scene as a whole. Thus, even though they all had experience in doing music before, Majaz is a new experience for them.

Music with no restrictions

As Hameed Al Saeed explains, the band members don’t want to define their music,

“While we do tend to describe our music as “Progressive” or “Fusion”, we like to think our music transcends the barriers of musical genres. We’re not really fond of labelling it, because that would only confine and limit us.”

Nevertheless their music derives from various elements such as the Eastern, Turkish, Greek, Balkan, Celtic, Bahraini music and many more. In addition to this their inspirations are diversified and the whole point of the music of Majaz is as Al Saeed emphasizes further to “break the barriers of music and creativity by creating something eclectic and eccentric in a haunting and beautiful way.”

A musical Journey

This is evident in their first single called Rihla (Journey in Arabic). The song is multi-dimensional, multi-layered which is revealed every second it continues. It combines different themes, rhythms and genres in a whole composition, creating a journey from the beginning to the end of the song.  Salah Sharakhat (Bassist) states that

“Rihla was composed with no restrictions, we aimed at a sound like a journey for our audience, as our compositions always have a metaphor to any subject we pick.”

All instruments engage with each other in this song creating a fusion of different themes and sounds. In terms of composing a song Abdulla Faisal describes the process in the way that they don’t have rules for composing songs. “Sometimes one member brings an idea and we complete it, and sometimes a member brings a fully ready song, and sometimes we just jam and whatever taste the room is giving us we continue with it.” in addition to this Zahid Albabalooshi says that “Everyone pitches in their bit as the song progresses and eventually we settle with what sounds best to all of us. I think what matters most is the idea and the feel of the song – the purpose of adding or removing any thing should be solely based on serving the music.”

What lies ahead

Since they emerged Majaz played at several festivals and tries to catch every possibility to perform their music. They have performed in many venues and festivals across the country, most notably the “Bahrain International Airshow“ and “The Nest Arts Festival”. Their future plans involve to perform their debut tour which will take pleace next year. In addition to this Jehad al Halal (Cello) hopes that they will focus on their first album and a couple of gigs outside of Bahrain. Even though they have already created a unique soundscape through Rihla, al Halal says that “we would like to add one more instrument to the band, also when it comes to our compositions. We want to add the African element since we never went into that direction.” Hopefullly, the single Rihla is only the beginning of Majaz’s  journey and we will hear a lot more from the band in the near future.

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