"We will, we will, rock you!" When guitarist Brian May penned this epic line, little did he know the influence it would echo across generations — let alone cultures. The song crept under the Middle East region's music radar as it most certainly was not ready for a revolutionary theme song. Fast-forward to today, the doors are starting to open for rock enthusiasts to find their place in this tradition-heavy region.
One Emirati singer captured more than the distorted-guitar sound of rock music, but the culture in its entirety while staying true to his lineage. Started as a solo artist, Mohammad Bafoory gigged around the UAE circuit armed with only his graveled vocals and an acoustic guitar. Albums and concerts later, his band is now an accomplished 4-piece powerhouse. musivv is honored to speak with Mohammad in an interview.
First of all, thank you for gracing us with your time.
“No problem thank you for the opportunity.”
Secondly, how are you? How has 2020 been?
Hi I'm good thanks for asking, and 2020 has been a life lesson, to be honest, there were ups and downs.
Being an Emirati, how did you find your place in the music scene considering the kind of music you play is predominantly Western. Was it a challenging journey or an easy road?
It was challenging to be honest, and some people are still not accepting it but at the end of the day it is what it is and people are entitled to their opinion and of course, any creative journey is hard in my opinion. Otherwise, there won’t be lessons learned and I wouldn’t be able to grow as an artist and as a human without them.
Any creative journey is hard
What and who inspired you to make music? What makes you do what you do?
There is no particular person or act that inspired me to make music. I just wanted to help people understand their own emotions and also help them overcome their problems through my own experience that I put in the music, I or the band produce, and that’s still what drives me to do it.
How did the band form?
I was a solo artist, playing gigs only with my acoustic guitar, and one time when I was going through my phone I found a lot of recordings of pieces and bits of music that I have been recording for some years, and there I saw the potential of probably releasing an album and once I had done that I knew I couldn’t go on stage and play acoustic anymore. I had to form a band. And all my music career I’ve been going to open mics to mingle with musicians and that's eventually how I met my band members except for Khalid our lead guitarist who was a friend of mine whom I met through Instagram.
How would you describe the local music scene 5, 10 years ago compared to how it is now?
Well, it's safe to say that it has grown a lot and a lot of great artists and bands came out who is the best of the best in the scene. The only thing we need is a little extra care from the organizers and event holders should provide more opportunities locally and internationally.
You were dubbed as the UAE's First Rock Artist. Tell us more about that.
How it started was a local newspaper approached me saying that they heard I'm an artist and I play rock music and they want to write an article about me as The first Emirati rock artist. It’s definitely a title I'm proud of and to be the first is something that pushes me more every time but what truly matters to me is the band because without the band I won’t be able to play, write and perform songs.
Is there anything you want to change in the local music scene?
There is a lot of competition going on as some artists have that mentality. That should change and we should push and encourage and support one another because the only way we are gonna make it is one music and art family.
We should push encourage and support one another
You said in another interview that you always try your best to give back to your country, what would be your biggest dream for UAE music in general?
Like so many people, I’ve been blessed with being an Emirati and born in this country and this country has given me so much and if I will achieve anything for myself, I naturally wanna achieve it for my country as well. One of my dreams is to win a Grammy award or any international award that will also be counted for UAE.
Bafoory leaves us with this message: Be true to yourself and be who you want to be as long as you don’t hurt anyone or reflect a bad image, mind your own business and things will happen for you. And just keep writing good music.Follow Bafoory: