Salah Al-Zadjali: The Omani Fusion Artist
Best known for his music video ‘Asa Ma Yohashek Ghali’, Salah Al Zadjali is a proud new generation Omani musician who is revamping the face of Omani music.
Salah Al Zadjali, a renowned Omani singer has been in the limelight recently for his pop style songs on Arabic music TV channels. Born on Jan 26th 1979 in Muttrah in Oman, Salah’s music journey spans way back to the tender age of 10, when he first performed on stage. He recollects his emotions back then while performing for the first time were very nerve wrecking, at the same time he felt very excited and happy. Despite not being a professionally trained artist, it was his passion for music that led him to pursue this route. He points out that it was his father who encouraged him and as Salah defines himself ’a self-taught’ individual, it was also a combination of his skills and him meeting the right people at the right time that gave him his lucky break.
Salah believes that on of the factors that catapulted him into the media’s glare was the fact that Omani musicians are under represented in the Gulf music industry, and him being one gave him an edge. The problem he says is the lack of good production companies in Oman and the fact that because of this, local singers are not given an opportunity to shine. Even though there are singers emerging from Oman but there are not enough institutions to train potential musicians. There may be a few places which have recently opened but it lacks a prominent school that guides the upcoming artists. ’His Majesty Sultan Qaboos does appreciate music and he encourages classical music and we have two professional orchestras. The Royal Symphony and the Oriental recently formed a music society and soon we will have a grand opera house which shall have a huge department for music development.
Salah’s musical mission is to try to create a fusion in the world of Khaleeji music, and produce something unique to the typical mainstream line that is Khaleeji music. He’s notably praised for his unique voice and musical capabilities but he points out that his colleagues believe it is also a combination of his personality that is praise worthy. He would like to sing about things that matter the most to him, in this regard it is his country. He explains: “I have already sang for the youth, for the children, for soccer and for my country. At the moment my album is ready and it is a mix of Khaleeji tunes with a touch of international beats. I want my next album to reach out on an international scale, to places it’s never been heard before.”
Breaking into the music industry wasn’t easy for Salah, it consisted of a lot of hard work. He believes it is the persistence. He emphasises the challenges he’s faced so far: ’Things have not been to easy for me, it has been a very hard journey, I started off at a very young age and I didn’t even have a manager to support me so every step in my career has been a challenge.’
He loves music and it’s great to be doing what he loves doing the most and the admiration he gets from people. It’s all part of the package, that he surely deserves. While recollecting his memorable moments as a musician, Al Zadjali speaks about his performance on the Dubai TV show ‘Najm Al Khaleej’ (2006), where he sang ‘Zidni Ishqan’.
Even though he is famous now, Salah doesn’t think he has changed in any way, infact he has become more responsible for the type of music he wants to produce and he doesn’t want to disappoint his fans.
Referring to his popular music clip ‘Asa Ma Yohashek Ghali’, that became an instant hit, it had a very fresh and unique approach to it, something of a Western touch to it with a fusion touch as well. The video was directed by Amer Rawas (a friend of Salah) and the video was filmed in Dubai. He labels the experience as ‘fun and interesting.’ However, the inspiration behind this song is about missing a beloved who is away. This song went on air after a long gap Salah took, it was mainly the lyrical work that was really important for him. ’I sat with my friend Al-Aaid who wrote the lyrics, I was very content with the words and I felt they were simple yet effective in touching the human emotion.’
With his new album that took two years to produce, Salah is now focusing on it’s launch. It is all hard work and more music production in the pipeline for this energetic musician. He would like to thank his fans for their constant support and love and hopes they will like the new album.
– Rabis M