Bahraini musicians will be featured in a documentary that premieres tonight.
The film, which spotlights singer Ala Ghawas and well-known Bahrain band Likwid, will be screened for one night only at Seef Cineplex. Called Ala Ghawas and Likwid: Live from Allston, it has been produced by Elements Cine Productions and directed by Bahraini filmmaker Saleh Nass.
Footage collected over a matter of days has been condensed into a one hour and 25 minute documentary, featuring an intimate concert at Mr Ghawas’s house and interviews with the performers. The title comes from the name Mr Ghawas gave to his house, which was christened “Allston” in tribute to the area in Boston where he lived as a student. Likwid consists of Ahmed Al Qasim on lead vocals and bass guitar, Khalid Al Shamlan on piano, keyboard and backing vocals, Ahmed Abdulaziz on electric and acoustic guitar, as well as backing vocals, and Abdulrahman Malalla on drums and percussion.
“It (the documentary) is certainly a big deal for us,” said Mr Al Qasim.
“It’s the first time we have taken part in a project like this one.
“This project will truly document where we have reached as artists at this time and also document the great collaborative relationship and friendship between Likwid and Ala Ghawas, which has made perfect sense for all of us simply because Ala is a great songwriter and our strength lies in our musicianship as instrumentalists. So both sides complete each other.”
Likwid’s members have been playing together under various guises since 2004, establishing themselves as sought-after performers on the local circuit. For one project, they adopted the name Synergy to win the Budweiser Music Live competition, playing their first original compositions. However, Likwid was the name chosen last year during a re-branding.
“Likwid is an alternative and contemporary band that doesn’t believe in genres, just good music,” explained Mr Al Qasim.
The band is about to release its debut album next year and expects at least one or two singles to come out beforehand. It is also preparing for a busy 2016, with appearances being lined up at music festivals around the globe. However, Mr Al Qassim said the new documentary highlighted the performers’ passion for music – and what can be achieved by independent artists.
“We feel that this documentary shows how artists can achieve quite a lot if they put in the hard work and effort, without the backing of a label or production company,” he said.
“It also conveys the important message that collaboration is a very strong tool that we definitely encourage all upcoming artists to do because it has many benefits for all sides involved.
“Finally, we think that the most important message that this documentary conveys is that we perform and record our music for the sheer love and passion we have for this beautiful art form.”
Read about this Bahrain tribute to another Arab musician here.
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