‘My 21 Grams’ is a unique east-meets-west rock album by singer-songwriter and Bahraini Prince, Hassan bin Rashid.

His fifth album, ‘My 21 Grams’, released 6th October 2023, is a beguiling, heartfelt, thought-provoking marriage of the western rock loved by one who has lived in Florida the Netherlands and New Zealand, to the Arabic sounds of his upbringing.

On the album’s title he says: “A scientist did some research of the weight of the soul. He estimated it at 21 Grams, so My 21 Grams is the weight of my soul. These are songs which come from my soul.”

As a record it evokes the dense, layered, emotional music of Pearl Jam; the thought-provoking adventurism of Pink Floyd and Radiohead and the story-telling, web-spinning of Dave Matthews, Bob Dylan and Bob Marley.

Hassan wrote and recorded in Dubai, while the musicians – many of whom he has yet to meet – received demos and, in much the same way as Pearl Jam recorded Gigaton, collaborated digitally as the area locked down.

The Middle Eastern undertow is provided by a smorgasbord of musicians from across the region, led by Hassan’s long-time friend Ahmed Ghannoum.  

Alongside Ghannoum, there’s a Lebanese guitarist who lives in Egypt, while the rhythm section on the album, including the track, Refugee is a pair of Syrian refugees living in Lebanon. “They have no passports. They play weddings to get a little money. I only know them as the bassist and drummer. How nuts is that?”

‘My 21 Grams’ is preceded with the first single ‘Refugee’; a song that was originally a melancholic lament before the Syrian refugee performers that played on it added their own flavour, as Hassan explains: “they added a happy bassline, which works so, so well. They explained that refugees want to deal with life, not sound melancholic.”

The songs on the entirely self-penned ‘My 21 Grams’ span four decades. “They work because they come from the same spot. They are the story of everything I’ve done. Together, they’re about the moment the world – particularly the Middle Eastern world – is passing through. That moment needs a soundtrack.”

On the east-meets-west nature of the album, Hassan says:

“What we’ve created is a product of listening to rock, but playing it with the rhythm of our Arabic background.

There are so many bridges between east and west. Despite what you might see on Fox News, there’s a cultural awakening in the Middle East. It’s an explosion and it’s something I’ve been waiting for, just as I’ve been waiting 25 years for some of these songs to appear.”

Read more here: https://www.facebook.com/HBRhassanbinrashid/

By Published On: august 12, 2023Categories: Artist News, In Focus, New Releases

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

About the Author: Kbremer

Good music enriches your life. At BLUE DESERT we are passionate about this particular yet wide-ranging style of music we call West Coast Music. This site is a modest tribute to the music and the performing artists, who through the (many) years have given us - and continue to give us - endless hours of musical enjoyment. As long-time fans we want to share our enthusiasm, experiences and views with fellow connoisseurs as well as curious newcomers. If we can do our bit to help promote this great music and all the gifted artist – well, then we have succeeded.