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homegrown

The current global 'climate' may have spelled gloom and doom for some if not most — in our context, musicians and singers. It may be a different strum for Dubai-based singer/songwriter Ibby VK who released the song 'Fire In Me' in 2019. He's taking that same fire to keep his passion for music alive and well as he takes social distancing as a time to reflect and hone his craft while at it.

Who is Ibby VK?

I started playing the guitar when I was 16, then stopped for a year then got back to it at 19. At the same time, I got interested not just by playing the guitar but also singing. I first learned how to properly sing at around 19, but I have always been a songwriter since I was 16.

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

homegrown

I draw influences from a variety of bands and artists ranging multiple genres mostly through Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, Ed Sheeran, Metallica, Hollywood Undead, Justin Bieber, Lauv, Eminem and Kygo but my live performances are highly influenced by Ed Sheeran, as I love the live looping that he does.

influenced by Ed Sheeran

What are your thoughts on the music industry in Dubai?

It is a very new and young scene, but it is growing rapidly, and does not lack talent at all. The artists here are very talented on a global scale, but the marketing and the business side of the music scene here is very underdeveloped, and not supported compared to major markets such as the USA, UK, Australia, and Europe.

What are the central themes of your songs?

I try not to stick to a specific theme in my songs. I want to write about everything that inspires me. I love having stories behind my songs. So that's why you will find songs about love, breakups, motivation and inspiration, and even about death or the environment.

Any funny moment during a performance?

So many funny moments, but one of the funniest was when I got some kids on stage to dance with me and when the drop came in, a whole bunch of kids all started doing the same Fortnite dances and they all joined in from the crowd. The kids literally let loose in the music and I found it really funny.

How do you prepare for a performance?

I do some vocal warmups. I perform almost on a daily basis so performing has become second nature to me. Also, I am always on my guitar while writing songs and attempting to learn new things and ways to use a looper or develop my shows, so it is almost like a daily practice session in a way.
Although after social distancing and not playing music much then I should probably go back to practicing.

homegrown

What would you advise aspiring singers?

Practice, never give up, but listen to advise. Always realize that there is a lot of room for improvement and always keep learning. If you think you are the best in the world then you will fall behind, but if you keep trying to improve and get inspired by people, then you will always become better and find new ways to succeed that others haven't, and that's when you will unlock that "uniqueness" that lies within you.

unlock that uniqueness within you

What’s the most significant recognition that you received?

Like I said in my advice, I always set very high goals for myself, so that if I underachieve (in comparison to my goal) then I have still overachieved in reality. So when I do get recognition, then I am usually not very fazed by it. But one huge moment that stands out for me was when I was invited to be a guest performer at the XAGA Awards Night by XPEDITION Magazine and Miss Universe at the time [Catriona Gray] was enjoying herself so much that she came up on the stage to jam with me and we shared a moment on stage. That was one of my biggest career highlights so far. ender