Baloo is a minimal artist from the Middle East who really shows he knows his stuff in the studio and proves that again with his recent collab EP with Carlo “Sweet Tooth”. We caught up with him recently to find out how the collab came together, and where the impulse to create something comes from for him…
f: Hey, great to meet you Baloo! How did you get involved with MDLBEAST and what is your role?
Baloo: Very nice to meet you! So I am the Chief Creative Officer at MDLBEAST. I got involved at a very early stage in the development of the festival and worked closely with the founders to develop its vision, purpose and brand ecosystem. I have worked in branding and communication my entire career, and have always been a DJ. The two worlds merged for me on this multi layered music brand.
f: When did you start making and playing dance music, was it the same stuff you do now?
Baloo: I started playing music in 1997. My sound, like every dj around the world, has evolved with time and experience. I started producing music in 2005, but didn’t really pursue it, as I never saw any possible positive outcomes at the time, and stuck to playing music in the region and privately in Saudi. I picked it up again with Carlo in 2020, spending three months in Berlin.
f: What do you think makes the middle eastern scene unique, does it have its own style and sound?
Baloo: I think it is very unique. Our underground looks and feels different. Our sounds are eclectic, just like our environment and people. This transmits into music beautifully and we have yet to see its full potential.
f: How and why did you link with Carlo for the new Gabu Records EP?
Baloo: Carlo’s music has always been in my crates and playlists. He’s an artist I love and admire and for that reason, we booked him to play the first MDLBEAST Soundstorm in 2019. At that time we connected on a personal level, and that led us to collaborate and really discover each other’s ears and brains. I think I found a great studio partner in Carlo and so far we have released 5 tracks together on his label Aterral and my label Gabu.
f: Did you work together in person, online or?
Baloo: We work together in person in his studio in Berlin.
f: What advice would you give yourself as a young artist that you have learnt since you started?
Baloo: This is a deep question. I would say, stick to your path, some great things are coming your way, and you’re only preparing for those things now.
f: Where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?
Baloo: Problem solving for one. I love being presented with a problem, because I use my creative thinking to solve those issues. Beyond that, when it comes to music, I’ll hear something in a track, and it will inspire something fresh, and I put that in my notes and pull it up when I’m in the studio. I am inspired by nature, travel, and by certain sounds.
f: What last made you happy and why?
Baloo: I am happiest when I see people dancing in front of me, nothing shows joy more than dancing. I really enjoyed playing SXM Festival in St Maarten. We had a Gabu feature, with Anmarz and Carlo, and we really enjoyed that.
f: What makes you unhappy and how do you get over it?
Baloo: Being misunderstood. I am very transparent and myself when dealing with people. I tend to speak the truth, and that gets you in trouble sometimes.
f: What else are you working on this year?
Baloo: More Festivals, more conferences, more new music, and hopefully more bookings!
At MDLBEAST we like to say: Next is More.
Baloo’s collab EP with Carlo is out now on Gabu Records. Grab it here