‘Ala Ghawas is an independent singer-songwriter, musician and record producer from Bahrain. Drawing inspirations from poets and songwriting masters ‘Jackson Browne’ and ‘Bob Dylan’ along with his idols ‘Jeff Buckley’ and ‘Damien Rice’, Ghawas produced a compelling body of work that illustrates the influences of his life in the form of songs which helped him release 7 albums during the span of 10 years. He speaks with Gulf Life.’
When did you record your first album?
I recorded and released my debut EP, “Hums”, in 2007 during his time in Boston as a Fulbright Scholar. The release was received positively by the Bahraini media upon my return. It was followed by another two critically acclaimed EPs, “Whispers” in 2008 and “Screams” in 2009.
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?
I’ve always wanted to be a musician as far as I can remember, but it was the approach of Damien Rice and how he recorded his legendary debut album at home that made me realize that it’s possible. I went ahead and did the same thing. I recorded my music at home and shared it with the world.
How would you describe and rate the music scene of Bahrain.
It’s still preliminary. I don’t believe it’s big enough to be called a scene. But I do admire the Bahraini recording artists especially, Mohammed Haddad, Likwid, Mo Zowayed and The Relocators.
Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?
“Tryst” is definitely my most self assured record to date. And then “Live from Grace” is the best live performance I’ve ever had, probably because it was designed exactly how I wanted and that it was filmed too.
Who have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?
I would say Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley and Damien Rice.
If not a singer, what would you have been?
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
I listened to a bunch of styles of music, including Arabic, indie singer-songwriter, R&B, Jazz and classic rock. My music came from several places.
Describe yourself in three words.
A book-smart musician.
And the last show you have binge-watched?
Damien Rice live in Rome.
List three things nobody knows about you.
I’m a very decent footballer, I have a phobia from dogs and I believe that John Mayer is better than Jimi Hendrix.
What’s your favourite travel memory?
Boston, the city that played a huge part into making me a recording artist today. I lived there for two years.
Words: Abhishek Chakraborty