Khatib who goes by the initials K.K. wrote the very first song he initially titled 'Whirlwind' (which later on became 'Grey') as a rough demo when he agreed to hit up Bailouni (one of Dubai's sought-after hitmaker producers) for the first time for an initial music production session. K.K. did not want to come in the session empty-handed but armed with an original. "That was the first time I ventured into songwriting and I realized how therapeutic that was to me." K.K. went to Bailouni's studio and played the phone recording of 'Grey' and right there and then, the two recorded a portion of it.
"When he sent me the demo later that night, I was amazed at how professional-sounding it was." K.K. claims 'Grey' will "definitely never see the light of day" but will always hold a special place in his musical journey as the song that kickstarted his newfound passion.
How are you?
I could be better. I am a Palestinian first and foremost and witnessing the injustice that continues to take place in Palestine is heartbreaking and renders me helpless each and every time but I have faith that eventually humanity will prevail.
For those who do not know, please introduce yourself.
I am a Palestinian RnB singer/songwriter based out of Dubai. I've always been an avid listener of RnB music, specifically the '90s and early 2000's RnB, and so when I decided to actually venture into music, it was the genre that felt most natural to me. I started releasing music in November 2019 and have released a total of 8 singles since then.
What keeps you doing what you do?
Ultimately, as cliche as it sounds, I have unconditional love for music. I do have ambitions and goals that I want to achieve, for sure, but whether I end up getting where I want to get or not, I know that the journey will be one that is memorable and sourced out of passion.
I have unconditional love for music
How did you discover music?
I don't have the most glamorous story with music. I was not one of those child prodigies that picked up an instrument when I was 6, I actually was mostly a consumer of music before I ever considered being a contributor. From sharing a few (mediocre) covers on social media throughout my high school and university days, I started to have a "did you know he can sing?" perception amongst family & friends but the point at which I got into music properly was through coincidentally meeting Bailouni. He gave me both the platform and the encouragement to pursue it, this was in late 2018 and we've been working together ever since.
Do you consider yourself a perfectionist?
Absolutely, and that isn't always a good thing.
The first song you released, take us through the process.
The first song I released was 'Nights Like This' back in November 2019. At the time, it was actually the most recent song we had worked on (we had finished at least 5 songs before that) but it just felt right for that to be the first one. It was also by far the shortest it took us to write, record and produce the song and I guess that's a testament to the fact that our chemistry was continuously improving. The reception to the song blew my mind, from friends and family to complete strangers telling me how much they vibe to the song....it was surreal.
If not music, what would you be doing?
Hmm, good question. So I do currently wear multiple hats...aside from being a singer/songwriter, I work in comms and specifically within PR & social media. It's an industry that I've become capable of but in terms of what I would like to be doing if it wasn't making music, it would be working within the music business and attempting to shake up the way executives approach the music industry in the MENA region. An artist-centric business ecosystem is necessary and I think only executives that were once artists themselves will be able to truly provide that.
'Get Along' was such a hit, can you take us through your emotions.
Thank you! 'Get Along' is definitely my proudest moment yet. It was the most enjoyable experience I've had with music so far. The process, from recording and writing the song to prepping for the music video, was one that Michele was fully involved in from the get-go which made everything so much easier and so much more rewarding as well. That was a track I was confident people would like, because it did feel like a step up from previous tracks, but the reception was definitely way greater than I imagined. The music video element is what makes 'Get Along' so special though. [We] weren't really intending on doing a music video this early on in our careers but it felt so right. We hit up multiple people but it was ultimately Mark Issa who got the vision and secured the right team. I'm super proud of the way the music video came out and hopefully it sets a precedent for future music videos.
my proudest moment yet
How is it like working with Bailouni?
Honestly? He's horrible. The man's unbearable on most occasions and as a music producer, he really isn't all that. Alright, alright, I'm just kidding. How is it working with him? Incredible, really. He just gets you. Whoever you are, whatever your story is, he gets you. He listens, observes, racks up information and uses that information to customize a sound for you that you don't even know you wanted. His foresight is next level but ultimately it's not just his technical capabilities that do it for me. He is, no doubt, incredibly gifted when it comes to music composition, mixing and mastering. But it's his energy and his warmth that really make the whole process an enjoyable one. Okay, I'm hoping he stopped reading at this point...the man's just like an old habit, you can't get rid of him. *ba dum tiss*
'Gone' tells the tale of a relationship, be it with a romantic partner, a friend or a family member, that is past its expiration date. It details the remorse of not doing enough to salvage the relationship, but also the helplessness rooted in knowing that it's too late to do anything about it. Dark, I know.Follow KK: