Nestled between Saudi Arabia and Dubai in the western corridor of the Persian Gulf, Bahrain is a colorful island kingdom which never fails to delight visitors with incredible variety and historical remnants.
From the intricate architecture in Ahmed Al-Fateh Mosque and hidden nooks of Bahrain Fort to the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix and vibrant souks throughout the capital of Manama – this charming island is overflowing with interesting culture and experiences.
At the same time, while the local customs, traditions, and lifestyle can seem untouched in this part of the world, some very distinct changes have managed to find their way into present-day Bahrain, not least within the music industry.
Authenticity and focusing on the music in Bahrain
Indian, Persian and African music have all influenced the bluesy genre in modern Bahrain, while the very urban sawt music is just as popular. However, at 2Seas Sessions, we operate a studio in the capital which focuses on music in a much broader sense. After all, the core concept of music is universal, rather than local, and for this reason, is it not right that traditions, culture, and languages from around the world should coexist and be celebrated as one?
At the very least, this is exactly how 2Seas Sessions view the industry and more specifically, our focus and approach to music in Bahrain.
Located in the capital of Manama, 2Seas Sessions take place in a private studio in which we concentrate on bringing talented artists to Bahrain with the intention of recording and promoting their music. In each case, these musicians may or may not be signed to a label, but regardless, the intention is always to shine a light on the music and provide recognition to the artist in question.
When you consider the increasing presence of reality television shows and manufactured music within the industry, we believe that this search for authenticity seems increasingly important. In fact, this is often what feels so refreshing about our recordings, for contrary to the above-mentioned shows, our focus is always on the music and a particular artist in the purest sense, rather than the audience who come to witness the experience.
2Seas Sessions and the search for raw talent
“Our mission is to record and film artists from the four corners of the planet and to promote the work online for the rest of the world to see and enjoy” 2Sea Sessions Mission Statement
Featuring a long line up of international artists including Msaki, Phat Bollard, and the Neil Cowley Trio, 2Seas Sessions are also unique in a sense that there is no particular genre being favored. Simply put, if we come across an exciting and talented artist, we also find a way to bring them into our studio to record a stripped down acoustic version of their music. Furthermore, these recordings are extremely intimate, and we issue only a handful of private invitation for each session which takes place in our private studio at regular intervals throughout the year.
In this regard, it is also worth noting that the studio is not available for private hire or public use, which in our opinion, adds further to the element of exclusivity on every occasion.
Creating the perfect recording environment
However, there is no doubting how the success of these recordings is down to the process of sourcing these musicians and then capturing this raw talent in an intimate environment. Based in a high end and fully functional recording studio in Manama, we have essentially created the ultimate environment in 2Seas Session for these talented artists to showcase the core of their music in the most authentic way. Central control, monitoring systems, compressors, synthesizers and outboard units are standard within the studio but rest assured, the quality of every fixture is to the very highest possible standard.
In fact, the professionalism and standard of this setup also extends to the filming equipment which ensures every aspect of the recording comes across any time we invite a new artist into the studio. Transitioning slowly between instruments and strings to facial expressions and body posture, the filming of these sessions is both beautiful and seamless. Consisting of antiquated furniture and subtle design, the minimalistic design of our studio also translates nicely on film, as we go about capturing the performance in the rawest sense possible.
If we may say so, we also suspect this setup, professionalism and concentrated effort is the reason as to why most musicians are enthusiastic to work with us here at 2Seas Sessions.
The ever-changing face of music in Bahrain
Again, we feel that our process and focus is refreshing in the face of a music industry which focuses on current trends as opposed to raw talent. Similarly, the pure nature of these recordings can feel symbolic of Bahrain itself, where life seems rather peaceful and less busy in comparison with nearby metropolis such as Dubai. In some way, this is also relevant for the music which appears to blend seamlessly into the multicultural population who make the island their home.
While we hope for, and fully expect, the culture, traditions and general lifestyle in Bahrain to remain unspoiled in the foreseeable future, we feel the simplistic nature of 2Seas Sessions can still prosper alongside sawt music and the bluesy genre for which the people appreciate so much. At the same time, we also want to share these intimate experiences, promote inspiring artists from all around the world and communicate our love for music through the recording of these authentic, simplistic, yet genuinely inspiring performances.
It may surprise some people that our focus on music in Bahrain is somewhat distant to the local traditions but really, we choose to record these artists from all across the world for the sake of our universal love of music and the best way we know how to do this, is to record our favorite artists in the purest form possible.