behind the stars

Big Beards Entertainment LLC is an entertainment company based in United Arab Emirates (Dubai) with a background of over 10 years of experience in artist management, artist bookings, events management, sound consultancy and full on entertainment/event services elia-mssawir-streetcon
behind the stars | elia mssawir: to beard or not to beard1

behind the stars

elia
mssawir

to beard or not to beard

elia-mssawir-drums

Another busy morning
as Dubai-based Artist
Manager extraordinaire
Elia Mssawir sets his
sights (and ears) in
discovering a rising star
through his highly-acclaimed events company.

Elia’s once juvenile sense
of curiosity in music - and
what it entails to pursue a
passion - has blossomed
into glorified years by
which he made a name
for himself in cities he
never imagined possible.
Join Elia Mssawir and ride
along his epic journey of
highs, lows and growing
beards.

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elia-mssawir-horizontal

Please tell us about your journey.
When did you start getting into music?

I grew up in a family that appreciates good old school music from oriental to western. My father got me into the oriental side and my brother took me to the Western/English side. I learned to love and appreciate all kinds of genres, to sit back and enjoy what I’m feeding my ears

Around the age of 14-15, I started getting into the business side of the industry while I worked at my brother’s events followed by my own events at the age of 18. From that point onward my whole life was around music and the business behind it.

I launched one of the most respected UK based artist management companies and came back to UAE to launch Big Beards Entertainment, which is currently one of the biggest in the middle-east. 

What led you to pursue artist management?

Many people ask me that, to be honest with you, it all started because of a dare.

One local band dared me to book them for a festival in Europe while I had no idea what I was doing or how to contact festivals. Long story short, I landed my first festival, traveled to Europe and met the biggest artist managers in the world. All I wanted that time is to be like one of them!

Remaining in the background of some artists’ success made me crave this role by seeing their success as a reflection of my work too. This made me work even harder to be known as an Artist Manager.

What do you think of the music scene in Dubai? How is it nowadays compared to before?

My journey in Dubai’s music scene started in 2007 when the scene was massive and local events used to be filled all the time. Artists used to play shows so easily that they had to take breaks from their projects. Nowadays the scene is completely different, due to the rotation in UAE’s population, you can barely see names developing fast or growing their fan base. It’s a shame because there’s a lot of talent here, but working in the music industry in this part of the world and especially in UAE is far from easy.

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elia-mssawir-talk
It requires full
attention and
focus, and we all
know how hard that
can be while you
have day jobs to
sustain your daily
life.

What were the challenges you faced in pursuit of your passion for music and empowering other artists? How did you overcome them

One of the biggest challenges is to take artists abroad, whether because of their financial situation or simply because they come from an Arab country where promoters in other parts of the world tend to avoid. One of the other challenges is the lack of support from the local scene!

If you’re a fan, you only pick the artist that you want to support and ignore the rest, which is wrong. We all have to support each other so we can rise up altogether. Lack of support also comes from other artists, since everyone is trying to achieve their goals, they tend to forget their surroundings which can create a lot of conflict between artists.

Hoping for the day where all of us can actually come together with absolutely no conditions while supporting one another!

What’s the biggest recognition you’ve received? How were your emotions like when you found out?

During my 10+ year’s career, I was always happy to work with major names while organizing a successful festival or event.

However, being recently awarded as MEA Entertainment Manager of the Year by TP Magazine made me realize how my work is being appreciated by the people in the industry as well as my supporters! They took time from their lives to actually make sure I get the title. The first thing I thought about when getting the award, is that I wanted to gift this to everyone who contributed to my success. I tell them here, I love you so much!

What’s your typical day like?

Coffee, Music, Work, Coffee, Meetings, Music, Work, More coffee and More Music!

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Who do you look up to?

In my daily life, I always look up to my family, they are my inspiration. In my business, I look up to people who made a change in the industry and added to people’s lives. Therefore I have someone to look up to every day.

How do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

Oh, I wouldn’t even know what I will be doing in the next hour, saying 5 years, I can’t really predict but I have few goals that I’m aiming to achieve. One of them is to finish my world tour -which I’m coming so close to. Maybe I end up on a different continent, doing what I love doing.

Favorite artist/band?

That’s a really tough one, I’m consistently changing my list, but looking at the current time, Leonard Cohen is back on the top of my list. 

What would you advise aspiring artists?

I’m not sure if my advice is going to be good, but; take all critics as a lesson, every support as an experience and every shutdown as an article you have to read again. Stay away from “yes” people, they won’t take you places! And lastly, believe in your art and if you’re not confident enough in what you’re creating, go back and do it all over again till you have a smile on your face.

What’s the biggest dream?

Simple, making
Big Beards
Entertainment
one of the
biggest Artist
Management
companies in
the world.

I would like to thank you
for this interview, it’s
always great to share my
life experiences.

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