As far as Lee Charteris of Flash Entertainment is concerned, “The UAE is packed with talented individuals”. And we couldn’t
Each year, more and more acts are getting their music heard on one of the many platforms now available for aspiring artists. One such group is S.O.S (Secrecy over Supremacy) who are grateful for Flash’s platform, the Yasalam Emerging Talent Competition. The four-piece have had a full-throttle year since winning the contest in 2015, and Time Out managed to grab a moment with them to find out more about it.
S.O.S first got together at last year’s Dubai Street Jam, at which NIICO and Elias Brown were performing together, as were T.Jones and Freshman. These two separate entities fused naturally and started to work as a four-piece, and so S.O.S was born. “Our sound is a blend of hip-hop, R&B and afrobeat, based on the fact that we all have different backgrounds. We like to call it urban afro fusion, aka U-fro,” says NIICO.
Hip-hop and R&B are fiercely popular in the region, a fact that is helping the group pick up a growing following. “These sounds internationally connect everyone, giving you a good feeling, good vibes,” Freshman says. “Our music right now is even being played in the UK, as it relates to different cultures, genders and age groups. Our sound is part of a big musical wave across the world.”
While it so often remains a dream for most to become a success in the music business, S.O.S are hoping to do so by grafting together to write songs, perfecting their stage presence and making the UAE public aware of what their brand is all about.
“Everything we do, we do in house; we are a family,” Freshman says. “We have come together to pursue certain objectives and certain goals, so I feel our character is what separates us from other bands and other groups. Our energy and vibe are reflections of our character and we want people to get to know us before they enjoy the music.”
Since winning the Yasalam Emerging Talent Competition, S.O.S have been busy making music videos, recording tracks, opening for American rapper Wiz Khalifa and even performed at this year’s Time Out Dubai and Abu Dhabi Music and Nightlife Awards. Despite this acceleration of work and attention in the public eye, S.O.S remain humble. “The Yasalam competition is something that allowed us to showcase our talent in the best possible way, says NIICO. “There is nothing like it and it has given local talent something to build upon.
“What it has done, is allowed us to think about our career in a different way and take it a step further thanks to the opportunities proposed to us since winning. So really we are just incredibly grateful for the competition and I strongly urge anyone who is interested in a career in the industry to enter. You have to take advantage of this platform and what it can offer you.”
The group always welcome DJ FlippSide to the stage and he is not just there to play the backing track. “Having him up there with us is a bonus,” NIICO adds. “Off stage, he structures all our sets, thinks about the energy to create before we hit the stage and how we can all best connect during a performance. He is key to our show.”
Now, halfway through 2016, S.O.S still have plenty more to look forward to. “We’re looking at some work with some mainstream artists – which we obviously can’t talk about just yet – and currently we are looking to go on tour in China, which should be for about six months at the end of June, Freshman says.
“We’ll also be shooting a couple of music videos for some songs and we want to have high-quality visuals for our shows and our fans. We want to establish a position in the music industry and that is our main goal.”
For NIICO, this year is about pushing boundaries. “We want to try and push the music scene we are in as far as it can go. We want to open the doors for other artists. The hip-hop and R&B scene is growing here and we want that,” he says.
For more on S.O.S check out their Facebook page www.facebook.com/wearesosmusic.To enter the Yasalam Emerging Talent competition, visit www.yasalam.ae by Sat September 24.
Three top S.O.S moments
Shooting the first video
Freshman: “Shooting our first high-budget video, New Chick, had so much excitement and energy behind it. It was so much fun and it was the first song we recorded as a collective. That was a top moment for all of us that won’t be forgotten quickly.”
Launching the first CD
Freshman: “When we finally finished our compilation album, that was a huge moment. It’s called Good Morning Dubai. It felt like we had all been through a journey and when we saw the CD printed we could see that journey in front of us.”
Opening for Wiz Khalifa
NIICO: “Getting to perform is one thing, but getting to open for Wiz Khalifa, considering we’ve only been together for a short time, was really something. He is such a recognised performer that it was a real pleasure to open for him out here. A real highlight on the S.O.S journey for us all.”