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The global pandemic has allowed Hani Shaneen to sit and reflect on what should come next as a musician. The solace at home has given him more chance to work on his musical vision — harder, smarter and better. So far, Hani aka HANIZ has been learning new techniques daily and producing more of his unique sound.

Dubai-based alternative music composer Hani runs around with an artist moniker Haniz was born, raised and completed his education to a college degree in the UAE. He considers classic rock style 'Another Space And Time' and the alternative Arabic rock game-changer 'Leil Taweel' as his greatest hits so far.

All images are supplied and owned by @hanizmusic. Use without permission is prohibited.

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What's the inspiration behind Leil Taweel?

Leil Taweel is a track that was written based on one melody! It plays throughout the song in different styles. My vision was always to write, compose and produce music that is mixed with different styles. I don't like sticking to one style and following the base structure, I like to twist the rules and add my own taste. When Leil Taweel was still in the writing stage, the melody sounded like it's an alternative Arabic rock song. It directly clicked! I didn't even try to work on it as if it's a classic rock song or a pop song. It directly gave me an indicator that this should be sung in Arabic. So I took it from there, without even looking for alternative options, it just happened and as if it was made to be such a song.

I don't like sticking to one style

What do you think is missing in the music scene/industry in Dubai?

Well, the music scene in Dubai is already great at the moment, but smaller musicians are struggling to find and contact the bigger musicians for collaborations or chances to perform live in front of an audience, it's hard for them to find the first step even though they are willing to take the first step.

Do you consider yourself a morning person?

Yes, of course! we wake up in the morning to have a long day ahead, more chances to be more productive, it's healthy!

Escape

Outside of music, what gives you a sense of escape from the noise of day-to-day life?

Reading and learning new life tips and tricks, basically, adopting new skills is a really enjoyable thing whether it's designing, filming, music-making, or even stock and crypto trading! It's fun!

Who inspires you to make music?

That's a good one, the very first instrument that changed my life was the guitar, I was amazed by how Kirk Hammett from Metallica plays his guitar which led me to grab one and learn it using the internet, and then Bring Me The Horizon (The Band) started changing their music taste which left me amazed by how you can mix and match whatever you love in music to create a sound.

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If you were in a lift with Kirk Hammett, what would you tell him?

Kirk The Reaper Hammett, you were one of the biggest elements that changed my life to what it is now.

Best song ever. Number 1 on your all-time greatest song.

I come from a family who practiced immigration in the past because of life reasons, Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin is the No. 1, it's not a complicated song, but it tells a story about the people immigrating during the Vikings era, and I find that really interesting.

I always look at dedication

What part of music production do you enjoy most?

Composing the guitar riffs, followed by the mixing stage.

What do you look for in a music collaboration?

'Leil Taweel' was my favorite collaboration with the amazing vocalist from Red Around, Amr Hisham. When we spoke first about the song, he showed his dedication to music, and from then on I knew that he is the right person. His work on the first demos of the song gave me motivation. So I always look at dedication from the second party so that I get heavily motivated to finish the music.