Sometimes, just sometimes, a beat is all you need. It propels you through your day. Relaxes you by night. And, of course, gives you the best excuse to party. The music made by Casablancan Jazz-Hip-Hop Beat producer Saib. is altogether a little more extraordinary, though...
We always pose ourselves the same question when it comes to Hip Hop and Beat-Tape making. Does successful Hip Hop only exist when there is a perfect harmony between the beat and the lyric? It's something we recently asked American producer Birocratic, who remained adamant that beats don't need lyrics. Indeed, his own music went some way to convincing us of this. But then we came across Saib., whose Jazz infused style of Beat-Making took us to a different place altogether; Dreamland to be precise.
Dreamland is a seven track EP which we umbrella under the term "Jazz-Hip-Hop", though truthfully speaking, it's much more than this. Snow, the first track on the record, is exactly the kind of music Claude Debussy (impressionist pianist) would be making were he alive today. It's the perfect introduction to Dreamland, and one which sets the theme nicely.
"There's so many people with different cultural and financial backgrounds. The way all these cultures can co-exist at the same place gives you a different perspective about music and makes you more open-minded"
Saib. continues on this wave of piano driven Beat-Making with each theme proving more relaxing than the next. Special note must be taken of Come With Me. It's the most complete melody on the record, and one which we would even love to hear without a Hip Hop beat. It's Saib. talented angle to a genre which is so often exhausted. Enough template in Hip Hop, here's a different angle. A new dream.
Which takes us nicely in full circle to our original question. Do beats need lyrics? In all honesty, for us, surely it can only make a song more complete? After all, isn't that the ultimate art form in modern music? To create something where harmony and melody combine with instrument and voice?
Yes. But then that's the template. And, much like Debussy did in the early 20th century, and Saib. now over 100 years later, when it comes to music it's important to try something new, different, and most of all, to dream. Read the full Dreamland interview with Saib. below...
Saib., congratulations on Dreamland. This release focuses very much on the relationship between piano and beat making. Describe your style, and how it comes across in comparison to previous releases?
Dreamland is definitely one of my proudest pieces of work. I was heavily influenced by anime soundtracks and easy listening music while recording the EP. Compared to my previous releases, I feel Dreamland is calmer and more relaxing. My goal was to highlight the sample melodies by adding a small hint of texture to the drums and resonant snaps, to recreate that winter feeling we all get by the end of the year.
Do you create beats with a vocal melody in mind? Or does the beat have to create its own melody?
It varies from track to track. Sometimes I start with a drum loop, sometimes I'll start off with a sample or some guitar chords and work around it. Each time is different, I don't have a definite writing method.
It doesn't feel like there is too much Moroccan influence on the record. What's the state of Moroccan Hip Hop at the moment? Moroccan influence isn't apparent in my music, but it definitely has been a part in my musical process. Casablanca is a very diverse place. As far as the music scene goes, there isn't a place in town where Hip Hop Beats can be played without someone asking you to play some EDM. I'm planning to make some live sets in Casablanca so that people can get to know Hip Hop and Jazz beats, which might help in creating a Hip Hop scene here.