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backstage

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backstage

backstage

[noun]

musivv.com’s digital magazine dedicated to honoring the men and women behind the stars.

april 2021

We took the step to make a point! Together We Continue!

backstage

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HIAM

Steering On The Right Direction


Together. Perhaps no other time in the history of the world — in our context the local independent music community — has this word become more pertinent. The sense of disengagement triggered by the enforced lockdown during the onset of the global pandemic set a domino effect leaving industries at an unprecedented stand-still. To keep the boat afloat, Last Seen Live producer Hiam Salibi carried the banner 'Together We Grow' to another level months into the shutdown of the events sector. "Events is one of the big pillars of putting out Last Seen Live where artists can showcase their talents in front of an audience," says Hiam. "We took the step to make a point. I had Covid actually and I had to produce the show from home," she recalls. It took sheer determination to pull things through waving the sign 'Together We Continue' as a revitalized statement.

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There was enough fuel in the gas tank from the success of the launch of LSL — pre-Covid — to keep the momentum going. Hiam's eyes lit up as she remembers her fondest memory of initially seeing their ideas come to life. "You know that moment when something drops? [The] Instagram [account] was live, we looked at everything, and was so good!" All of the other essential elements fell in place organically from the venue to permits and decorations and artists. "We invited around 300 people and I thought maybe [a] maximum around 70 or 80 will come." Her modest estimation was met with astonishment when more than 200 people showed up. "For me, looking at that number, looking at the event, all these DJ's supporting and all the artists, that was heaven."

Hiam takes the driver's seat on all things production — freedom she enjoys as a result of the chemistry she built with founder Pirlanta Toubba. Hiam suggested coming on board as the event arm to compliment the digital platform Pirlanta envisioned. "And it just clicked!" Hiam's respect for how Pirlanta envisioned LSL along with its branding gained back a mutual approbation. It became clear that it was more than just two ideas finding a perfect bond but a harmonious relationship between two trailblazers. "There really was no conflict. For me, I'm a bit messy. I'm a producer, anything goes let's go. For her, she just knew how it felt like, what it looked like." Having a clear grasp of the guidelines steered the two into a "free flow."

And it just clicked!

Inspiration

The room became even brighter when she wittingly responded to the question "Who inspires you?" Hiam had it all "formulated" in her head. "Me in 10 years," she said with a beam of light in her smile. "Who I want to be in 10 years, that's who I look up to." At this point, the interview metaphorically throttled from a speed of 100 to 200km/hr.

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One would wonder if, at some point in her life, Hiam aspired to be in the limelight. Besides, there has to be a commonality between her pursuit of excellence and her creative flair. A common ground so to speak. At the hem of her talented persona was a skill revving up for a grand reveal. "Believe it or not I was a breakdancer." She went through that phase of wearing baggy pants she recalls. "I can't sing," she admits candidly. Her feeble attempt at rapping never reached a second bar. PStorm attests to that unforgettable-but-should-be-forgotten evening.

"I was a breakdancer"

Hiam's journey to get to where she is now was nothing short of a series of missed exits on a freeway. She planned to study criminology but quickly took a detour because of passport issues back then. Her mother decided to enroll her to what turned out to be a short stint at SAE — a sound engineering facility in Knowledge Village en route to her desire of becoming a DJ. As the saying goes, everything happens for a reason. Hiam finally made her way back to the right track studying event management.