Hussain Alidina AKA Adina is a self-taught composer and music producer with over 10 years of experience and realistic views on the music industry. Hussain currently works in the dynamic nightlife of Dubai, handling Selekt, arguably the hottest DJ agency in the region under Bliss Inc Entertainment. His music preference lies in soothing and euphoric melodies intertwined with electronic or orchestral elements.
In your opinion, what are the key success drivers for an artist looking to get signed to a talent agency/record label in the UAE?
How successful people want to be is based on their subjective definition of success. Whether you want to be known for a niche area that you cater to or appeal to a large-scale audience really determines what you need to do. The bottom-line is that you need to be talented and/or develop the expertise. Your drive and passion need to be consistent as this will push you to where you need to get. As much as hard-work pays off, your image, outreach, network and a bit of luck is always required. Be at the right place at the right time with the right skill and the right mindset.
Has the dynamic nature and competitive climate of the music industry raised the need for music producers to become versatile or specialize more than ever before?
Again, this really comes down to what your end goal is. Versatility may be mandatory if you're looking to work in the field of Audio production/engineering in various studios, in radio, etc; a line of work that requires you to be able to create a variety of elements. Specialization is for those who would want to pursue a more music-based career where they develop their own signature and style. It's fair to say that a massive majority of musicians would rather go down this path as it's driven by a certain love and passion they have for a genre or type of music. However, due to the accessibility towards digital music creation these days, the music industry has become very competitive in this regard.
The arts scene in the UAE has significantly flourished over the last 5 years. What would you attribute its growth to?
Local consumers are willing to look at home-grown talent and support it now. The rise of technology has made an artists' work easily accessible, it seems people are open to experience new ideas and forms of expression. The Western hemisphere of our planet has always dominated the arts scene when it comes to music and film. Artists who are locally situated are able to build off from this momentum, creating their own interpretations of what they know and observe to create something that's relatable to local crowds.
Tell us about a challenge you faced as a young aspiring music producer and how you overcame it?
There was never anything major to be honest. I've always approached my goals whilst maintaining an occupation that allows my music production skills to keep growing. As I was self-taught in an age where tutorials were seldom and YouTube didn't really exist, I guess it just took a little longer than usual for me to fully-grasp the musical and technical know-how to get my ideas across.
Trial and error became a massive part of my work-flow and learning experience. Given how easily accessible tutorials are now digitally available, I'm assuming that this isn't much of an issue. However, I've always felt the experience you gain through trial and error often broadens your view on what the possible outcomes are. In more recent times, I personally feel people are looking for this "instant gratitude" which often lowers their patience threshold. People just want to sit down and get a beat out in an hour. For better or worse, this has pushed the market to create tools, loops and samples where generic (almost soul-less) music is just spewed out daily.
You recently had the pleasure of meeting and working with some international artists such as Lil Jon, Silento and French Montana. Tell us a little bit about that experience.
It was an awesome experience. In my current line of work with Selekt, we handle the events and bookings for local and international artists. Whether it's a quick studio session, meet-up or performance handling, working with these artists gives you that sensational feel of the bigger picture and what a lot of local and international artists strive towards.
With Lil Jon and French Montana, I had the pleasure of recording a few things in the studio with them. I was definitely a little star-struck when it came to Lil Jon. His production style was so influential during my high school years where I was fiddling around with making beats. As he walked into our office, I managed to maintain my composure.... before immediately singing "Get Low" out-loud.. Ok just kidding about that last part, but I wanted to. After our recording session, we had a whole chat about what he was doing now with his global gigs and production back home in the US. I'm not usually the type to get my pictures taken with celebrities and the who's who in industries, but made sure I got a picture with him.
Where do you see the music industry in 5 years from now, and what role do you envisage music producers playing to make this prediction form part of reality?
From a production stand-point, electronically produced music (whatever the genre may be) is becoming more and more prevalent. In the last few years, various styles go through cycles of popularity. We've seen big-room EDM move to deep house move to minimal to trap. Fusion-based music seems to be a big thing nowadays. Combining melodies, instruments and techniques from different cultural backgrounds seem to be creating this fantastic vibe that a lot of new music seems to be aiming towards. I personally hope to see the comeback of orchestral music mixed with various genres... just so I'll be able to make the next multi-platinum hit
Finally, what advice would you like to share with music producers of tomorrow that are currently considering pursuing a career in the music industry and those that are currently enrolled in a music production school?
Music production is, in this day and age, a HIGHLY competitive field with only a fraction of this community living "the dream" of attaining a sizeable income by making and producing what they truly love. However crafting and harnessing your creativity is one of those feelings that money or materialism cannot satisfy. Being recognized, commended and eventually awarded for the creative-you is something people live for and should live for. Success is not just an end-product. It's a subjective element you attract by being true to yourself, intelligent with your daily choices and driven by your passion.