Doc Jazz (@docjazzmusic) comes back: new beginnings!

Musical Intifada | 23 August 2013 10:04 by Dr. Tariq Shadid aka Doc Jazz

Doc Jazz

Doc Jazz

If you are a regular visitor to my website, a member of my Facebook page, or a follower on Twitter, you may have noticed that my Musical Intifada project has gone through a period of relative silence. Well – I am back now, and I want to clarify a few things about what you can expect in times to come.

So what was with this quiet period? Well, the simplest answer is, that I just went through a very hectic period. On top of that, some recent experiences raised a few questions in my mind that made me decide to take a few steps back and give some thought to what I was doing with my musical project, and whether I wanted to continue with it in the same way I had been going about it. My recent performance in the Netherlands was what kick-started this line of thought, and I took some time out of it all to see what I would come up with after some deeper reflection.

New direction

I still do not have all the answers, but what I do have, is new plans, new goals, and new motivations. This time, I decided to look at some hard facts and figures, and give less space to wishful thinking. I looked at the statistics of my FB page, which now boasts well over 35,500 likes, which is quite a respectable number for any unsigned independent one man act. I realized that a good 85 % of my audience was not coming from the international community, but from the Middle East. An overwhelming majority of the people on my FB page are Palestinian, but there is quite a great number of Egyptians and other Arabs on there as well.

My conclusion was that while trying to reach out to the international community over all these years, my fans, supporters and sympathizers have turned out to be mainly Arab. An interesting outcome after 12 years of musical activism, considering that the vast majority of my lyrics are in English, as well as my writings and my media appearances.

To cut a long story short, let me tell you what my new direction will be. What I would love, is to increase my engagement with the audience that I already have, instead of continuing my focus on engaging the segments of the world community that I have been trying to reach, with limited success.

Change in style

I have some very interesting and new musical ideas that are based on mainly releasing songs with Arabic lyrics, and developing a unique sound that sets my style apart from what is usually presented to Arabic audiences. It is probably no surprise to you that most likely, they will still be songs with a message. I realize that this is quite a challenge in itself, but the thought excites me and invigorates me, so I plan to put some effort into this new idea and see how it rolls.

My new direction indeed entails a diminished focus on engaging the international community, but it definitely does not mean that this will not remain one of the goals of the Musical Intifada project. After all, there is a huge number of songs in English in my repertoire that the vast majority of people in the West have never heard, and that touch on nearly all subjects connected to the Palestinian cause.

You could say, I’ve done my job and more in this respect, and perhaps I should start to consider that part of the project more or less finished. Perhaps you, the audience, can help the international community gain more access to these songs. After all, they are there for the taking. I have changed the settings to all of the songs to free download, at least for the time being, so go ahead and grab what you want while this is still the case!

Upcoming new song

Having said all this, let me tell you that the ‘new Doc Jazz’  has already started in the new studio. I have composed a song in Arabic, with an uptempo beat and a universal message, and I hope to be releasing it soon. It is still in its beginning phases of production, so please bear with me. A carefully selected handful of people have heard the first test version of the new song, and their response was so enthusiastic that it has made me very excited about working towards releasing it to the public!

For now, the only thing I will tell you about this first new song in the new series is the following: it aims to send an empowering message of hope and unity against sectarianism. I plan to tell you more about the song in a few weeks, and I hope to be able to release it somewhere towards the end of September.

Of course, I will not forget my supporters and fans in the international community; I believe I am just giving them a new sound to listen to, and whatever will be released in Arabic will also be accompanied by a clear translation in English. Last, but not least, this new direction certainly doesn’t mean that I plan to never release a song in English again, only that this will not be my main focus for some time. Don’t be surprised if I suddenly hit you with some English-sung down-to-earth blues or some other Western genre, just because I feel like it …

I hope that this has made you up to date with what has been going on on my side. I really appreciate your interactions and feedback, so keep communicating with me through Twitter, Facebook and, since you all matter to me and I we all need to cooperate with each other in order to try and get this confused and ravaged planet back in order. I hope you will give me your support in my new endeavors, and you can count on mine!

Doc Jazz

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