A Lebanese guitarist, singer, songwriter based in Dubai, Jay has opened up for Aerosmith and Robert Plant and plays live every Wednesday at Stereo Arcade
My first musical influence was…
I was exposed to bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix by my father. Later on, in my teenage years, I started to get into heavier bands like Guns’n’roses, Metallica, Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Pantera to name a few. Then my focus shifted to guitar players like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Gary Moore, Marty Friedman. I was always open to blues, rock, and metal.
The last pop star I liked was…
Michael Jackson of course. I think time stopped for me in the pop world after that.
My sound is best described as…
Heavy and melodic. My main focus when I’m writing is always built around the riffs and guitar themes that compliment the lyrics and the song in general.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Keep your head down and work hard.
What’s your musical guilty pleasure?
The best band in Dubai is…
Still didn’t get there. There are some good bands here but I’ve not been to a show and been blown away by a performance yet.
Best claim to fame?
Still working on that part too!
When I make it, the one thing I want on my rider is… Red M&Ms.
My musical motto is…
“We are the music makers and the dreamers of dreams”- Arthur Shaughnessy.
Best gig you’ve played?
There are a lot of good shows that we put on but my favourite would be supporting Guns’n’roses in Abu Dhabi in 2013.
And the worst?
I won’t name it but it was in Europe. I had technical difficulties with my guitar and I didn’t have a backup guitar on me. I had to play 4 or 5 songs with a detuned high E string trying to avoid it at all times. It was a nightmare!
Best lyrics of all time?
That’s a tough one. I’d go with Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’.