Hassan Ramli is the passionate producer of E11 Entertainment a one stop shop for anything audio. Over time his company has acquired a list of prolific clients including Fox movies, Live Nation, Masdar City, Etihad and many more. We recently caught up with Hassan at his studio in Abu Dhabi
Where are you from and how did you get into music?
I grew up in Damascus, Syria. I think I was very fortunate to have a liberal family. I had an uncle who was quite a popular middle eastern guitarist and I thought it was really cool watching him on TV. I don’t know how you get into music but I always loved music. As a child I was in a marching band and started playing the guitar a few years later
What was the first song you learnt on the guitar?
Nights in white satin by Moody Blues. It had three chords(laughs). But later I moved onto The Scorpions and Deep Purple
Any favourite guitarists?
David Gilmour.Gary Moore, and Mark Knopfler
How did you develop your musical talent?
At the age of 19 I went to Cyprus and started gigging in pubs. Back then It was just me, a drum machine and an acoustic guitar. I did that for two years and then moved to the US where I was also lead guitarist in a rock band
When did you get into audio engineering?
In 1998 I decided to turn my life around. I went to UCLA and studied audio engineering. I then also Interned at numerous studios and finally landed an assistant position at the Hans Zimmer studios
Did your time at UCLA help your career?
Yes it did. At the time UCLA did not have full time teachers and instead industry professionals who wanted to give back to the community would conduct lectures.I was fortunate enough to have major producers and grammy winners as teachers. Along with being great educators they also boost your networking to another level
What influenced your decision to move to the UAE?
A friend offered me a job back in 2004. I liked the country but was not really keen on the job. Therefore I decided to send my CV around to a few well known companies
Did you get a call back from any of the major studios?
Yes. MBC literally called me the following day to schedule an interview. I met with them and then left for the US. Ten months later they called me back and offered me the job. I was thrilled as they had one of the best TV production facilities in the world and I was blessed to be part of it.
The live room at E11 Entertainment
What was it like working for MBC?
I worked with them in an excellent state of the art facility. At the time we also won the Promax best sound design award for two years in a row. It was the first time a middle eastern company had done this while competing against the likes Fox and Disney
What was your next move?
After MBC I was referred to twofour54 by a friend. I helped build the audio department there and worked with them for 5 years
How does it feel to finally have your own studio?
It was the best thing I ever did. In the beginning it was not easy but later people come to you because of who you are.
What do you think about artists in the UAE?
There are a lot of creative people here who want to prove themselves. I am also one of them. I believe there is huge potential here and a lot of talent.
Your advice to fellow artists?
Follow your passion and believe it can be done. Everyone has potential.