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Abdulhameed Al-Saqer

Abdulhameed Al-Saqer

First of all, I would like to thank the organizer of this award for this motivation and encouragement. It really shows that you care and made me realize that I am more responsible now to carry on developing this path and to make Kuwaiti traditional rhythms available to everyone, everywhere.

 

Please tell us about yourself.
My name is Abdulhameed Alsaqer and I teach at the Music Institute of Musical Art in Kuwait. I am a percussionist, specialized in Kuwaiti traditional rhythms.

Tell us about your educational background.
I have a bachelor degree in musical art from the music institute in Kuwait, and a master degree in music education from University of Jordan.

Describe your family support.
Despite the fact that my father is actually a specialist in Kuwaiti traditional rhythms, he didn’t want me to take part in this field but preferred that I pursued a scientific major or join the army. I worked at the Kuwait Petroleum Company for a few months but then realized that music is where I belong. Accordingly, I joined the Music Institute in 2003 after the intervention of the Dean (he tempted me by mentioning that I would be the leader of the percussion department). He succeeded in convincing both me and my father and I graduated in 2008. After my graduation my father started motivating me and encouraging me to take part in many cultural events associated with music.

Tell us about your childhood. How did your formative years lead to your success?
Everyone, including my father, noticed my early music talent and I was always part of musical activities at my school and summer courses. Then I started going to what we call in Kuwait ‘Samra’ which is an informal youth musical gathering and usually involves Kuwaiti folklore music. They noticed that I was gifted and that I had a future as a percussionist. They started requesting me by name to play the rhythm section in popular songs and other private commissions.

Any life changing experiences?
Once my name was known in Kuwait as a percussionist with fresh ideas, I was approached by the famous Kuwaiti singer, Abdullah Alruwaished, in summer 2008. He asked me to record the percussion part of one of the songs on his new album. He was very pleased with the result and I ended up recording almost 80% of his album, which was a success.

Any dreams while growing up? Did they come true?
My dream was to leave a mark in the artistic landscape of the Arabian Gulf, particularly in Kuwait. I succeeded in accomplishing this. Once I was known, I decided to make an album to document the Kuwaiti traditional rhythms and I started working on it in 2012. It took me around 4 years to finish the album but it was released in 2016 under the name of ‘Thorob’ (which means rhythms). This was the reason I started being known, not only in the Gulf, but also in the Middle East and in Europe. The reason I made this album was the great amount of questions about the Khaliji rhythm, especially Kuwaiti ones. I decided to make the album in an easy but academic way so everyone can benefit from the information. I was then asked by the owner of the iPhone app ‘Iqa’at’ to create a special page for Kuwaiti rhythms. I was very pleased that even before the official release of the album, people were already talking about it and requesting a copy. This album is regarded as a reference not just for the academic researcher but also for music students, artists and academic teachers. After the success of both the album and the application I proposed an idea for KTV to record a video clip of each rhythm and show it on TV. They accepted the idea immediately and we finished recording within a week. It is shown on Alarabi and KTV2 channels. I was then asked by a Kuwait radio station to prepare audio clips to be used between programs. Also, I approached Kuwait Airways and proposed the idea that we should show the album on the aircraft TV which would help to spread the Kuwaiti music culture among foreigners. They also accepted the idea immediately and I received very satisfying feedback.

Tell us about your current job.
I teach percussion and folklore literature at the Music Institute.

Define success.
Success to me is when you understand your passion and fight hard to accomplish it and when you see that your accomplishments are benefiting other people. Also, to be successful is to be reached by people who don’t even know you, to congratulate you for your achievements.

What inspired you to become the person you are today?
My father was always a role model to me and I was very inspired by his personality and his love of the Kuwaiti traditional rhythms. The success of my father made me feel responsible to carry on the job.

What is your favorite thing to do?
Music! Music is my life.

Describe yourself in three words.
Ambitious. Hard working. Musician.

Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?
To become a reference to all who want to learn about Kuwaiti traditional rhythms.

What is the secret of your success?
Ambition and hard work. And I care about my passion.

Your message for other people?
To succeed in something, first you need to always ask ‘why?’ Forget about disappointment and haters. To see your goals and principles, always remember that you should care about your image and you family image as well.

Your hobbies?
Cycling, travelling, fashion, cooking, camping, playing, swimming.

I fear…
Heights and flying (even though I love travelling).

What is your favourite holiday spot?
London.

Your favourite quote?
“Do not waste your age to prove that you are successful. Tell them that you are a failure and they will believe you immediately and then live your life in your way. Your way is the real success.” Jack Nicholson

On being selected as an Inspiring Man…..
First of all, I would like to thank the organizer of this award for this motivation and encouragement. It really shows that you care and made me realize that I am more responsible now to carry on developing this path and to make Kuwaiti traditional rhythms available to everyone, everywhere.

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