New York, LA & New Music
In February last year, I wrote a thank you note after performing at international music festival RedFest DXB and headlining my first live show at The Fridge Concert Series. In the note, I committed myself to sharing more about the rehearsal process for both shows as well as revisiting my debut recordings at Abbey Road and my opening act show for Olly Murs. I also hinted at some exciting news on the future—at the time, I was completely unaware of how the next few months would pan out, and feel the same way today.
As I sit in an apartment in LA, 8000 miles from home, I am reminded of how quickly these past 12 months have flown by; how I find myself facing the next chapter in my musical journey when the last one feels like yesterday; and how the next chapter will be just as unpredictable and fulfilling as the last.
In the past year, I signed with Universal Music MENA, released my first three singles, and left my musical roots in Dubai, moving to California to embark on the next steps of my journey as an artist. California has an incredibly rich music history, and I feel that this is the perfect time in my development to write, record, and perform across the Golden State.
I released my debut single, ‘Why Can’t It Be Me’, in October 2018—since its release, the single has gained more than 500,000 streams worldwide, which is surreal given that my music was locked away on a USB in my bedroom studio this time a year ago. In December, I had an incredible recording session in London with producer Roy Kerr as we worked on my second and third singles, ‘Young and Free’ and ‘Move On’. Roy produced my debut single, ‘Why Can’t It Be Me’, and I can’t thank him enough for bringing my second and third singles to life. We had one week to record, track, and produce both singles, but worked around the clock to finish both tracks on time!
Into the new year, I released ‘Young and Free’ and ‘Move On’ in March and April respectively, and have been taken aback by the support for both tracks. From news articles to playlist features, it’s been great to take the first steps in establishing a recording catalogue that I hope will continue to grow over the coming decades. After releasing both singles, I teamed up with NY-based producer Harper James in June to record a couple of tracks at his studio in Brooklyn. Harper is the first producer I’ve worked with in the US, and I’m super excited for everyone to hear what we worked on together. The tracks are currently in the mixing process—keep an eye out for an official release date!
Over the summer, I’ve been meeting with people across the music industry in LA, and am in the process of assembling a team to partner with me in building the next ten years of my career and beyond. Navigating the music industry is by no means an easy feat, and the initial decisions you make can have a huge impact on your direction—and freedom—as an artist. While scheduling release plans, meeting with potential managers and continuously advocating for my music is nothing to write home about, my hope is that building the right infrastructure around me will allow me to focus more and more on songwriting, performing and recording over the coming years.
Thank you as always for your support, for listening to my music, and for sticking with me on this journey! Just in case I don’t update this journal for another year, follow me on Instagram @hasanmalikmusic to catch a glimpse of what’s been happening, and follow me on Spotify to get updates about my upcoming releases! Hope everyone is having a great summer, and I can’t wait to share new music and exciting news with you all soon!