Interview: 5 minutes with Jaafar

Jaafar is a fusion-pop musician and vocalist currently based in Jordan, AE. After exploding onto the scene with the leading single titled ‘Sixteen’ which was inspired by the refugee-crisis in the Middle East, Jaafar then went on to receive considerable exposure through publications such as People Magazine, The Huffington Post, The National (United Arab Emirates) shortly after appearing on the US Billboard Charts.

Jaafar’s music could be best described as a merging of sounds and styles, from the likes of UK jazz-pop singer Jamie Cullum, or Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour, packed together with the complex instrumentation of legendary jazz band Weather Report, for his blend of western and eastern ideas seamlessly mixed through traditional oriental themes, incorporating hints of jazz or funk into an already intricate sound.

We caught up with Jaafar on studio experiments and energetic stage presence:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I’ve always been artistically inclined… I can’t imagine doing anything other than music!

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

I always go in to the studio with a fully formed song and have a pretty clear idea of the sound I want to achieve, so i guess in my case it kind of happens simultaneously.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, on a song called ‘Dalia’, I feature a Jordanian singer named Haifa Kamal who supports the song with her Middle Eastern ad-libbing.

What’s on your current playlist?

Peter Gabriel, always.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

They often dictate my performance. Especially at headlining shows. It’s an incredible thing when people sing your songs back to you. My stage performance is pretty energetic and they feed that energy. At festivals and when opening for other artists it’s a matter of winning over the audience, which is a different energy all together but also a thrilling experience albeit intimidating.

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

I don’t know if I have many techniques per se.. My song writing is pretty straightforward. I guess sometimes I enjoy using and recording instruments in unconventional ways. It drives the musicians and producers a little haywire and more often than not the results are not so great but other times you get something really special and unique.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

I’m not one of those guys who likes to start late and record into all crazy hours of the morning. I usually record in the afternoon, especially where vocals are concerned. Thank God for food delivery!

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Yes, after going to my first concert. I must’ve been around 11. I saw Sting when he was touring Brand New Day live in Jordan. I remember thinking I want to be that cool one day.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?


What gets your creative juices flowing?

Envisioning my live show.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

My live microphone is one of my prized possessions, it’s a Neumann KK 205 Capsule that I use with the Sennheiser SKM 2000 system, and I love it!

Any side projects you’re working on?

Moments Events Jordan!

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

My debut album comes out after Ramadan! Im so excited for everyone to hear it, I’ve been working on it for so long!

Purchase Jaafar’s music via Spotify

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