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Get your 'Freek' On.
As the electrifying rhythms of UAE's underground music scene reverberate through the air, BURO seizes the opportunity to chat with the prolific artist known as Freek, ahead of his exhilarating live performance in Bred Abu Dhabi.

Mustafa Mohamed Ismail, the multi-talented Somali rapper, singer, music director, and record producer, is a trailblazer in the world of Arabic drill rap music. Hailed as one of the driving forces behind the genre’s inception, Freek is a force to be reckoned with. With his finger on the pulse of the GCC’s dynamic music scene, Freek continues to push boundaries and shatter expectations, captivating audiences with his unique blend of creative expression and raw talent.

How does it feel to perform at BRED Abu Dhabi Presented by Hypebeast festival?

Performing at the BRED Abu Dhabi festival always brings me an indescribable feeling of joy and excitement. Having grown up in Abu Dhabi, the energy and vibe of the city always inspire and motivate me to deliver the best performance I can.

Can you talk about your musical journey and how you have evolved as an artist over the years?

My musical journey began as a simple hobby where I aimed to create a sound that is authentic to the region. I began receiving invitations for performances which encouraged me to keep going. My primary objective was to convey a message to the people that they can create and own their unique sound. The UAE lacked an authentic sound, and I took on the challenge to break through that barrier and bring an original sound to the region.

What message do you hope to convey through your music, and how important is it to you to have a message?

My music is a means to inspire and encourage children who, like me, grew up in the Middle East to pursue their passion for music and to become artists. I experienced a lot of pressure from people around me who did not believe that a rap industry could thrive in the region, making it difficult to convince them that I could succeed as an artist. However, the music industry has since expanded in the region and has opened doors for younger generations to express themselves creatively. It is essential to me to convey the message that it is okay for kids to pursue their dreams of making music and becoming artists. I want them to know that they can make it and have a successful career in the industry.

How do you think festivals like BRED Abu Dhabi Presented by Hypebeast, contribute to the growth of the music industry and the exposure of local artists?

Festivals like this contribute significantly to the growth of the music industry and the exposure of local artists. The beauty of this festival lies in its focus on local artists and communities. It provides a platform for homegrown designers, painters, and other forms of artists to showcase their talents on a larger scale, build their confidence and gain recognition in their respective creative spaces. This exposure helps to promote the local music industry, encourages creativity and innovation, and enables the artists to reach a wider audience.

Can you share any upcoming projects or releases that fans can look forward to?

In 2023, I plan to push myself to the limit, and I have several exciting projects in the pipeline that my fans can look forward to. One of these is a collaboration that I’m particularly excited about, and we have a video coming out soon that I can’t wait to share with everyone. I’m also looking forward to traveling to new places to explore different cultures and sounds to incorporate into my music.

Finally, what advice would you give to young aspiring artists who want to make it big in the music industry, especially in rap?

For young aspiring artists, especially in rap, my advice is to stay focused on their dreams and not let external factors deter them. I have met many talented individuals who are hesitant to showcase their abilities due to their community’s pressure or societal expectations. However, I want them to know that they can pursue their passions and should not be scared or trapped by the noise around them. It is important to ignore negative criticism and focus on their craft, always striving to improve their skills and learn from others. Persistence and hard work are key to success in the music industry, and with dedication and a strong work ethic, anyone can achieve their goals.