Their relationship started in 2018 over a conversation to collaborate on music together. Qihbad finished his film studies in the Netherlands and has been songwriting at a studio. Rashida performed at numerous musical events in Hong Kong and was heavily involved in producing, writing and composing her English RnB tracks. The two connected online and Qihbad was instantly impressed with her persona and musical talents. Messages turned into extensive phone calls that eventually blossomed and bonded neither could explain. "The idea was to make a song together but instead, evolved into making a life together," said Qihbad.
How are you coping?
Well, the pandemic is the main reason why Rashida flew from her home in Hong Kong and I flew from my home in Belgium to unite in Dubai as a couple again. UAE was the only green zone as lockdowns hindered us to fly to each other since January 2020. We never took the importance of our need for each other for granted. The music that came out this year reflected a sense of gratitude and humbleness that we were fortunate enough to be next to each other.
The first song you ever wrote what is it about?
The first-ever song we wrote together is titled "The Bed". Just like the title, the gist of it is very honest, vulnerable and open. It is impossible to have not done so since we yearned for each other.
...honest, vulnerable and open
What message would you want your listeners to take away when they listen to your music?
We believe: it is up to the listeners' interpretations on how they want to perceive and translate for themselves. Our work is to emphasize the most honest version of self-expression; the rest is on the ears that listen.
[We aspire] to grow together in every sense of the word. To make memories and melodies till we're dust.
Apart from the long distance, what were the challenges you faced in your music career and how did you overcome them?
For Rashida, it's been a tough pursuit of honest self-expression whilst everyone in her surroundings is pumping generic music. She is aware that this art is highly subjective, yet the sheer concept of other artists securing bigger teams solely [based on] 'formula music' aches her. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands as a newcomer, I was undermined on numerous instances since everyone purely judged the aperture of music [based on] their social media presence instead of the actual substance of material being created. I always felt like the odd one out since I never really fitted in any 'groups' or cliques entirely. The bottom line to that is, being stubborn. That's it.
What is your songwriting process?
When Rashida produces or decides to work on someone else's production, she heavily relies on her instincts to portray whatever thought that may be crossing her mind. On some occasions, she does imply her poetry that she has framed and kept safe with her. I usually start writing when the music is played, whether it may be at home or minutes before recording. Mostly the latter
she heavily relies on her instincts
Your latest project 'Peace'. Tell us about that.
Our most recent project called 'Peace' is a blend of Hindi and English as our ethnic mixture and culture shock placed us in a bifurcated state of feeling like outsiders either way. It's also a sense of acceptance and serenity as no formula is being followed and we're blending multiple languages to express adoration. We pulled an all-nighter the day before the recording session to write to Rashida's [own] production in our hotel room. Rashida is a morning bird and I'm a night-owl so we were both meeting midway to get our creativity in order.
The couple worked on their discography and still held on to each other against all distance until they moved to Dubai. All for love and music.Follow Qihbad & Rashida: