The One Who Brings Happiness

I’ve been working on ‘Forguilt’ for ages now and I’m happy to finally say the album is complete and that I’ll be announcing a release date really soon for all those who are interested in downloading it. However, now that my albums production has come to a close, I’ve found that I’m left with a lot more time on my hands than I had previously, so in this time I assure you, you’ll be reading a lot more of what my mind has to offer in terms of stories, behind the scene antics of my releases, and much more. For now I figure I’d start right at the beginning and talking about my first public release, The One Who Brings Happiness.

It has been a long time, just over 2 years in fact since I released this track. I remember it was around the time my concept of Jivan first started coming to light and my blues band Jelly Shot were recording our debut EP this this track was finally released to the public, hailed by a whole bunch of my Facebook friends, but it never really spanned much further out from there unfortunately. Regardless, here is a little ‘behind-the-scenes’ look at the writing and recording of the first track that threw me into my solo project, Jivan.

My first single, ‘The One Who Brings Happiness’ was written back in 2011. I wrote this song as a birthday gift to my dear friend Ifrah with whom I shared a love for ambient, post-rock music by the likes of ‘Explosions in the Sky’, ‘God is an Astronaut’ and ‘This Will Destroy You’  and so I figured in lieu of that, I’d write a song that fit that genre of music while incorporating my musical style (which was still very much undefined at this point).

I started writing and recording ‘TOWBH’ on the 10th of June 2011 and it took about a month to complete (keeping in mind that having completed around two-thirds of the recording process in 2 weeks, I lost all of the recordings thanks to the files being deleted). I was very close to killing the whole idea and just going out and buying something, but that wouldn’t be the right thing to do in my eyes, so I persevered and finished the song by July 14th.

The song was recorded in open E tuning, (E-B-E-B-E-G#) using my Liberty 303 Strat replica running through my pedalboard and into Sony Acid where I used Guitar Rig 4 as an amp modeler.  The only thing about this track which was (for lack of a better word) ‘pre-destined’ was the melody that served as the main theme of the song. Everything else was originally written out, or tabbed or something, but it ended up almost being improvised on-the-go while recording.

Originally, that main melody was written while I was playing guitar in college hanging out with friends, including Ifrah, who unbeknownst to me at the time made a habit of recording all I played. She gave me a copy of each of those doodles and the inspiration for The One Who Brings Happiness was her favorite of them all, Doodle #3 (affectionately named, The Ifrah Doodle).

As I wrote that track, I kept a little diary which I dubbed ‘The Path to Happiness’ which basically contained my thoughts as I wrote and recorded the track. This diary consisted of no more than a paragraph at a time for each of the 15 days I sat down to record, and reading it now, it is an insightful little read!

When this song was written, my whole concept of ‘Jivan’ and everything that spawned from it was no were near the development it had reached, but after a while, this song ended up becoming a grand theme for my entire story.

I honestly think one of the funniest things about this track was the fact that I recorded it in June and July as a gift for a friend who’s birthday was in May! I gave the song over to my friend the day it was completed, having not listened to it back more than 2 times. On that same day, I released this song on my private Facebook page and tagged a bunch of friends in it. It got a great response from all my friends and as great as that was, I was so curious as to what the general public would think.

It wasn’t until the 4th of November when I opened my official Facebook page that I released this song to the public and lo and behold it was shared on Kuwait-Music.com and uploaded to my Bandcamp and it was out there being listened to, downloaded and commented on within hours of releasing it. It was well received by a lot of people but that being said the release quickly withered away and was forgotten by most.

I still enjoy listening to it from time to time. It wasn’t well mixed, and wasn’t at all mastered (because honestly I barely knew what that meant, let alone what it entailed) but I still listen back on it with fond memories. Something about that track to me is timeless, I don’t know what it is about it, but it seems to always hit just the right tone with me and always make me smile when I hear it (and believe it or not, that’s not out of an ego-boost either). I hope all of you who’ve listened to it have felt the same and for all of you who haven’t, now’s your chance to check it out and let me know what you all think of it!

Click on the picture below and you’ll be taken to the download link on my Bandcamp page:

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the track!

Forguilt is almost here!

Hello fellow readers,

As of 5:00pm (local time) on Friday the 13th of September 2013 (yesterday for those who weren’t sure), I released the teaser for my upcoming debut album Forguilt. I’m super excited to be sharing it with you all and with that I shall link the album teaser below and scroll down to check out the epic album cover (thanks to incredible photographer, and dear friend Zai)!

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Forguilt Album Cover

Please leave a comment below and share this post with everyone!

That’s all for now guys, I’ll be back soon!

- Hashim

B-Sides: Your Love (The Outfield Acoustic Cover)

I’ve posted a lot of music on my Soundcloud account to date and well a lot of them really don’t hold too much substance and worked really to just give people something to listen to, be them early demos, covers of other peoples songs, or just me messing around with Garageband at 3 in the morning after hours of not being able to sleep and being struck with inspiration (despite the fact that I have work/university the next morning and that assignment that’s due the next day hasn’t even got so much as a title).

So in a series of posts I intend on writing on here under the title of “B-Sides” really just dives into the background of those songs so I could shine a bit of insight into what brought me to record them along with maybe some fun little tidbits and peeks into certain obsessions of mine. So to start of this new series of posts, I figured I’d go for an easy one, that is my acoustic cover of The Outfield’s “Your Love”.

Wasn’t that just a fantastic smack of the British 80′s pop? I mean, everything from the clothing, to the hair, to the Dexys Midnight Runners-esque vocals all enveloped in the stupidly tacky yet childishly innocent (in an ‘Aww! They really tried!’ sort of way) transitions using the context of the woman that’s painting in the video, who also seems to want nothing to do with the band (though their guitarist apparently can’t help himself from checking out her painting mid-solo).

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Concentrate on your fingers mate, not hers!

Now I don’t know about you, but for me that was one of those songs that I didn’t know I knew until I had heard it (a moment that was followed by a somewhat frantic Google and Wikipedia session where I read up on every detail of the band, which was then speedily followed by downloading (I confess!) their entire discography for that one song that ended up not being listened to at all but just took a bunch of room on my hard drive. Let’s face it, when Coheed & Cambria releases a new album, everything else can wait!

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Yes, even those retro-tastic heads of hair.

Though after downloading the track and listening to it a grand total of 3 times, that was really the last I had heard of it. However unbeknownst to me, I had a couple of other versions of the song already on my computer, namely a cover by Midtown (off of the Punk Goes 80′s compilation) and a very rough cover by Coheed and Cambria’s Claudio Sanchez (as part of Coheed & Cambria’s ‘In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth’ bonus acoustic demos).

My love for Coheed & Cambria is something I can’t talk about enough honestly. For any reader who know’s me well enough can attest to the fact that I practically worship they ground they walk on because they truly are one of a kind musically. So of course in all my crazy fanboy-dom, I listened to that song hundreds of times and fell in love with it all over again, granted it was a much darker version than the original (but with equally ridiculous hair).

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Pictured: Claudio Sanchez – Love Keeper

So having heard the C&C version of the song as many times as I had, I showed it to a friend of mine one night while I was in Dubai and that had given me the idea to sit down and record my own version of it. I quickly browsed the net for some chords (because I was in no mood to figure it out at the time) then kept adjusting the key until it was something within my singing range. Within minutes, I had pulled out my phone, opened up Soundcloud and started recording, no practice runs, nothing, just a straight one-shot recording. Here it is for you to hear:

I’ll admit that maybe had I gone through it once or twice prior to recording the song there wouldn’t be half as many screw-ups, but I feel that maybe it adds a certain personality to the recording (Whatever helps you sleep at night Hashim). Ontop of all that this post on my Soundcloud was a small milestone for me, it was the first time I actually uploaded something with my singing on it, something I was refraining from doing for the longest time but decided to bite the bullet and do, despite how cringe-worthy it was.

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Maybe my hair just wasn’t crazy enough to warrant a good voice

Regardless though, I still listen to my cover from time to time, it reminds me of a fun time back when I decided to cover it, in Dubai with a bunch of friends, eating lots of food, snowboarding at SkiDubai, seeing some penguins and getting completely shafted by some bastard on the phone, but that’s another story for another time.

Until then!

Well, we all have to start somewhere…

It’s time to get the ball rolling on this whole blog thing. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant about posting my stuff online, things that have happened in my life, people in my life and everything, but I figure the best way to really get around to it is really to just start writing and hope that I’ll become a lot more comfortable with it in time, after all, we all have to start somewhere.

Considering the main inspiration for all of this is really my music and the story that goes with it, I figure the best way to get started would be to post a little link to my official releases. As of today there are only 2 singles out, one of which ‘The One Who Brings Happiness’ was my first original release back in 2011 and the other is my own take on Lana Del Rey’s (now classic) ‘Born to Die’. You can find (and download) those 2 releases here (for free, I might add) or click on one of the pictures below to get taken directly to them (God I love the internet for such convenience!).

The One Who Brings Happiness

The One Who Brings Happiness

Born To Die (Lana Del Rey Cover)

Born To Die (Lana Del Rey Cover)

Keep your eyes peeled on that page though, because I’ve been working on my first full-length solo release for the past year and it should be out very, very soon (hopefully within the month, provided there aren’t any more setbacks).

For the more open-eyed readers that may come across this site, you may have noticed that I have a couple of pictures on the right hand side of this page that show other releases of mine that don’t show up on my Bandcamp page (admit it, you had no idea had I not pointed it out). Those other pictures are little demos and fun little clips of other things I’ve done while working on my official stuff. To find those, please check out my Soundcloud account. Also, I will be posting about those little releases from time to time so be sure to check them out whenever you see them!

That’s all for now, please feel free to check out and download my music and to please leave a comment, or any questions you might have. I’d be more than happy to read what you have to say!

Happy listening everyone!

Welcome To My World

Hello all.

I’ve never really thought of starting any kind of blog (at least not one I’d be serious about) but recently what with the launch of my musical project, under the name ‘Jivan’, I thought why not maybe write out my stories, my ideas, or even just blog about my music and the processes I’ve been through in order to achieve what I have (not to mention a friend of mine started his own blog and it kinda kicked me into doing one too, granted in a very different light).

A lot of things have inspired me in the past few years to write and write and well, I figure why not put my writing out there for all those interested to read?

I’ve created a world where I can get away from everything this world has to suffer from, and in that world I’ve created a new life, a home for everyone accepting enough to immerse themselves into it and find their own meanings. It was my own escape, my safe place, and now having opened it up to someone I care so much about and seeing how it affected them, and gave them a place to get away, I’m opening a little door for the rest of the world to have a peek too.  With that I’d like to welcome all you readers to a little part of my world. The story of Jivan and the Family of Virtues.

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