A (virtual) coffee with… Saadi

Who is Saadi?

Me! Boshra AlSaadi. I was born in Damascus, Syria. My family moved to Brooklyn when I was 2. Now I live in the East Village in Manhattan, where I have been making music since I was 17. I used to play lead guitar in a punk rock band called Looker. Now I play just about everything in a project called SAADI. SAADI is all about musical and cultural integration and the evolution of the human condition. Isn’t that grand?

Can you define the Saadi sound?

It’s global, eclectic, poppy, and very beat oriented. I have a blog called saadisound.com where I post whatever it is that inspires me.

Do you think comparisons to MIA and Santogold are inevitable?

Yes, it doesn’t surprise me at all. People need to have a reference, and the pool of female musicians out there is more like a pond. I don’t mind it, I love both of those artists. To be fair, we do have a few things in common. We all love singing to a mean electro beat.

‘Dodecahedron’ is hard to say, never mind sing! Tell us a bit about how the song and remix came about.

It was one of those songs that writes itself painlessly and quickly. I was listening to a lot of dancehall and dabke music at the time, and it started as a back and forth between the beats that typify both genres. I follow politics pretty closely, and was feeling the dissonant rub between points of view about Palestine and Israel in particular. A dodecahedron is a 12 sided three dimensional object. There aren’t really 2 sides to every story; I think the number is much higher than that, and it’s important to understand that when trying to make sense of all the information we receive about world politics. It’s kind of crazy how the song fits into the current sea change happening in the Middle East, long after it was written and recorded. The Soundmen loved it, and asked if they could put their spin on it. The remix is brilliant, a real re-interpretation of the original. They took only the vocals and built around them.

What’s the plan?

I’m finishing my first LP now. The working title is ‘Patternicity.’ I went into the woods in upstate New York for the whole month of December with all of my gear and wrote most of it there. That’s due to come out on Dither Down Records in late May/early June. In the meantime, the Clotheslines single has come out with a slew of crazy remixes and videos. I’m hoping to tour the US around the time the record comes out. In the meantime, I will be in Austin for SXSW singing with Ahmed Janka Nabay (from Sierra Leone) and playing some solo shows.

Favourite book/movie/song/album?

I don’t really have favorites. I’m a fickle Gemini. My tastes are pretty varied…but if I had to make a list:

Ulysses by James Joyce

Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

Blood on the Tracks/Blond on Blond by Bob Dylan

The Women of Studio One (a 2 record compilation of the ladies that recorded in Kingston in the 60’s and 70’s)

Remain in Light by the Talking Heads

anything by Brian Eno

anything by Fairuz

anything by Lady Saw

Can’t live without: sugar, garageband, lebne and pita

Clotheslines is available on iTunes. You can download Dodecahedron (The Soundmen Remix) for free by ‘liking’ Saadi’s Facebook page

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One Response to A (virtual) coffee with… Saadi

  1. neaphyte says:

    Keep up the good work Saadi. Your music inspires me in many ways.

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