Following the critically acclaimed release of his five-part Elephant Rock EP in March 2022, burgeoning Saudi Arabian electronic music producer BluePaper now looks to expand on the early success of his debut release on WTR, as he delivers a double-sided remix package for two of the EP’s lead singles – Riyadh at Twilight and Elephant Rock.
Out now via MDLBEAST Records’ subsidiary label WTR – a home for organic, arabesque, electronic music – this latest record sees BluePaper welcome two new interpretations of tracks from the original EP – one from himself, and one from hotly-tipped British producer Rashid Ajami.
We caught up with the Saudi talent to find out more…
Hello BluePaper! It’s great to have you with us today at WOTN – thank you for speaking with us!
Thanks for having me
Where are you based right now and how has this year been for you so far?
I am based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
And the year is off to a good start, with the amazing response to my first EP ‘Elephant Rock’, as well as the few exciting releases lined up for the forthcoming months
We’re very intrigued about how you got into electronic music, and the music scene where you grew up. Can you tell our readers more about this?
Until recently, we never had a music scene in my country
But I was fortunate and passionate enough to travel to different parts of the world to attend a concert, festival or even a milestone event
A trade that took me to places I wouldn’t imagine going to, such as : Bangalore, Beirut, Hong Kong, Amsterdam and Manila among other beautiful destinations I discovered in the process
So with all that soul feeding, countless hours on YouTube and a headstrong desire to challenge the statuesque I managed to start making music and experiment with sounds through fusing our rich Arabic textures and art forms into the universal electronic dance muisc sound
Where does the name BluePaper originate?
Back in early 2020 I was among the very first cases in Saudi to get the Covid-19 virus, and spent around 10 days in the hospital.
It was dark, inside my head, as I haven’t told any one at the time since everyone was panicking; and none of us knew what we were up against.
My family lives in a different city, and I was living on my own.
And I remember my dad used to video call me every day via FaceTime (it was something he never did before the pandemic), and I remember I had to change the hospital clothes and wear a normal t-shirt and look for a plain white wall as my background whenever I had to call him during those days I was hospitalized so he wouldn’t know I was sick with this disease.
Fast forward 10 days later I’m back to an empty and gloomy house, I was battling depression and anxiety; as it was lockdown and I couldn’t travel to be with anyone or see my family; and kept thinking “What if is this is the end?!, what if i never saw them again..” it was pretty pitch black inside my head, so I use to rely a lot meditation. Part of it was listening to a lot of chillout and electronica music.
I had a playlist I kept on compiling for years now, and as it was on shuffle and thoughts are wandering inside my head it played:
Moby – Blue Paper
The track immediately touched me in ways I can’t describe, and for no obvious reason. It was a healing moment for me, and I said to myself right away.. if I ever ended up making music it’ll be under the name BluePaper.
Talk to us about your first clubbing experience?
Itwas back in 2009, at Ultra Music Festival in Miami
It was that moment when I realized I want to become an Electronic Dance Music DJ and Producer, after seeing all of my heros perform in one day “ATB, Armin van Buuren, Above & Beyond and BT”
And then the first time you were the other side of the DJ booth?
Itwas everything I daydreamed about for years, and some more
What made it extra special is that all of my friends managed to show up and witnessed the entirety of my performance
We understand you have a new remix EP coming up on WTR — can you tell us more about that?
The ‘Elephant Rock’ Remixes EP is a club reinterpretation of both ‘Riyadh At Twilight’ and ‘Elephant Rock’, making them further uplifting and more fitting for the summer nights
What do you like to do when you’re not making music or touring the world?
Spend quality time with my 11-year old daughter
What’s the nicest thing you’ve cooked / eaten this year so far.
Tamarind Potato Curry
Finally, what can you tell us about your future? Any new projects, releases?
I have 3 additional releases lined up, as well as working on a few exciting collaborations at the moment.
BluePaper – Elephant Rock Remix EP is out now via WTR