Sain was born in Miami, USA to Emirati parents & was raised on both sides of the Atlantic, introduced to Hip Hop by his elder brother, Haze. His latest single, “1990” is a song in which he raps about his life in the UAE during the nineties. Sain has his eyes set on being a part of the Hip Hop game, making his homeland the next Hip Hop hub, and leaving his mark on the world through his music.
Now for the questions!
MED: If you were an ad, what would you say?
If I was an ad, I’d title myself as the stereotype that they call me and my people. I would do this to get their eyes on me, switch it up, and show them the truth about how we really are after that. If I was an ad, it would say “controversial” and I’ll end it at that.
MED: Why the name, “Sain”?
I decided to use the name Sain because if you separate the four letters it stands for, Selfishness Always Indicates Negativity. It is also the other half of my real name, Hussain, which was given to me by my older brother, Haze (Hassan).
MED: Dead or alive, which music artist(s) would you choose to be your mentor or like to work with?
There are a lot of artists, to be honest, but I pick 2Pac overall because of the impact that he had on music fans. Also, the way he painted a picture of the way he saw things was just beautiful.
MED: Do you see Hip Hop being accepted in the culture around you, or are there still barriers to be broken down?
Hip Hop has a little bit of everything for everybody and it has evolved over the years into many different dimensions, which is a beauty. I do think that it is being accepted into the culture around me in a major pace because everybody wants to get their message across by using their poetry. So why not mix it up with some instrumentals?
MED: Are you working on a new project? What’s the direction of this project?
I am working on a project, which is why I’ve been out of the scene for some time and it will be revealed over the next few months. My team has also been in touch with a good entertainment company that I see as the perfect place for me to begin my mission at and they are like a family, which would be the perfect working environment for me. So, look out for that to. The direction of my entire next project is for it to be international. Done doing local only, it’s time to go overseas and thanks to twofour54 (Creative Lab), I’ve been able to build a good stable foundation for myself to begin with.
I’ve been working with a new company on quite a few things recently. I also plan to work with megrov on a couple of tracks that I’d love for him to produce. Me and my older brother are gonna be in the studio together again, which will bring the best out of all of us because he’s very experienced. The latest single that I will be working on is gonna be with “Thunda Tracks”, two brothers from back home in Miami that have produced for numerous known names that include Rick Ross, Trina and more. They are putting up a collaboration with me and their artist Maintain, who just came back from a Def Jam tour. You’d want to watch out for that one.
MED: What’s your experience in dealing with having someone represent you, as opposed to representing yourself? What happened behind the scenes?
I worked with a “label/management company” that did a good job on the promotional side of things (in the UAE), but what messed it all up was the relationship they had with the people closest to me. I felt that was really uncool, plus, I wasn’t ready to commit to a 5 year, 360 deal with a “label/management company”, that had no budget, no studio and no intention of breaking me internationally. What’s more is that there was a ridiculous 5 million dirham (approximately 1.4 million USD) buyout clause.
We managed to work together despite my refusal to sign such a deal, but even that came at a cost. One of the issues that really caused some animosity between us was the fact that I was lied to about the money being made. One instance I can recall is when a sponsor decided to use my name to represent a custom made product. I was told that the amount that I’d be given would be 2400 dhs, while a radio host and DJ that were part of the event were getting figures that were way higher than that. That seemed a little suspicious to me. That said, even that money was taken from me and my “manager” said he had to give a percentage of it to a DJ and artist that he wanted me to work with. I ended up contacting the DJ and artist later on, and had asked them if they had gotten paid out of that small cash I was lied to about and they told me they had not been paid.
To go even deeper than that, last year I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to open up for Eminem when he performed in Abu Dhabi. I’m not sure of why it didn’t happen, but I do know that when my “manager” was approached with the offer, he told them he didn’t want me to do it because I was “not ready” for that kind of a stage. He did end up getting me a performance at another venue during that same F1 weekend, which had a bigger crowd and was still a good experience. However, opening for Eminem would have been a major milestone in my life, not just from a career perspective, but also on a personal level because he is one of the all-time greats in Hip Hop and he’s been a huge influence on me.
With all that in mind, after all the setbacks and all the experiences that pushed me behind what I was really capable of doing, I decided to move on.
MED: Do you think that you were held back, at any point, from being yourself? Was it a more of a positive experience than negative?
Being held back kills originality and what’s not organic kills the art within an artist. That’s how I felt and what I went through working with the previous company I was a part of. If I were to make a track about the past based on my ideas, I feel I’d do it better. Just saying.
MED: What’s your opinion on the local scene? What’s lacking, or not lacking, in it?
The local scene has to get rid of some people but it’s evolving, and it’s getting better. All eyes are on this region and it’s on us to show them what we are really about, because everybody is painting a picture about how we are except us and that needs to change. I feel like if we all decide to build up a foundation based on that, we will evolve at a major level.
MED: Any artists that matter in the Hip Hop scene here, or none yet?
None yet, but I feel one coming soon and he’s very “ambitious”.
MED: How do you feel about accomplishing more in a matter of months than what other local/UAE based artists have done in all their years involved in the scene?
One love for the effort that was put in by my former “label”, “management”, or whatever they are calling themselves today. They did do a good job with helping get my name out there, which is something we made happen together. It’s a pleasure to have been in a lot of magazines, newspapers, blogs and etc. in a few months. The great thing about it is that I’m just getting started.
MED: Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
My final words to all is to stay grounded and don’t let anybody take advantage of you. Things need to change in Dubai and people like the ones from my last management are what needs to go because it will only bring us all back to square one. They kill our chances of building a foundation to grow larger because of all these scams and lies that are built by greed. There’s a lot more I can say about what happened but I’d like you all to wait for my next tracks that will have those stories.
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