Based in Dubai, the impressive Lebanese singer-songwriter Hadi first entered the scene with his debut single in 2018. The 34-year-old artist has since opened shows for some of the biggest names in the indie-pop genre like James Arthur, Bastille, and Tom Odell.
Now, Hadi is living out his dream of releasing a song with one of his greatest musical inspirations, Mike Shinoda, one of the founding members of Linkin Park.
According to Hadi, Linkin Park was part of the reason he got into music in the first place. Last year, he wrote a list of goals for 2021 and one of those goals was to collaborate with Shinoda on a song.
Now that it’s actually happening, “it feels absolutely surreal,” Hadi told The961.
“It’s a little bit crazy to think about because Linkin Park and Mike Shinoda have been a huge part of my upbringing as a musician and even as a person, so for this to be materializing is a dream come true. And what makes this feel even [sweeter] is that it came together through the power of community,” he told us.
“Both my community, The Inner Circle, and Mike Shinoda’s community came together in making noise about this collab coming together. There was just so much support on all the social platforms.”
The whole thing started in January 2021 when Shinoda announced a project titled #ShinodaProduceMe where he would produce songs written by artists that his community brings forward to him, Hadi told us.
“So I immediately recorded a vocals+piano take of my song ‘Clarity’,” a song he had written almost two years ago but could never quite produce in a way that felt right to him.
With support from the online community across different platforms, Hadi’s song caught Shinoda’s attention. “I know that you guys want me and Hadi to do something together,” the American artist said on live stream on Twitch.
“That moment was a little crazy… he knows who I am,” Hadi chuckled. “Watching Mike Shinoda work on my song live and just seeing the magic of how his process was just so humbling and inspiring.”
“I wish I could go back in time to Hadi at 14 years old at the guitar store buying that first guitar after hearing ‘In The End’ on the radio, and just tell that guy that this is actually happening right now. I’m so grateful.”
“‘Clarity’ is a song about anxiety and mental health. This is something that I’ve struggled with throughout my life and is something that I’ve done a lot of reading about,” Hadi told us.
“Educating myself about it and applying an attitude of self-love definitely helps me navigate through it, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get the better of me sometimes.”
“At the core of it, ‘Clarity’ is about pleading for someone else to lend us their inner peace and let us borrow it for a second, rather than try to help us feel better. Because in those heavy moments when the anxiety is too real, it just feels like there’s no way to fix it. These words were written during an episode of anxiety, I wanted to capture those feelings and try to channel them into something healing and cathartic.”