"American music does not innovate anymore. There is no more shock. Nothing new. It is time for the Arabs to dominate,” said Issam.
Rabat – GQ Middle East, one of the men’s fashion & style magazines, has featured Moroccan rapper Issam on the front cover of its quarterly issue.
The GQ cover is the latest addition to a series of wins this year for Issam, who signed a record deal with Universal Music in France in May.
He told GQ the deal has given him a renewed sense of confidence because “they told me that I could do what I wanted musically. Even visually. The label believes in me. They give me the means to try new things,” he said.
However, things haven’t always been easy for the 26-year-old rapper from Casablanca. just last year, Issam was denied a visa to visit the Arab World Institute in Paris, and the rejection left him frustrated.
“I am 25 years old, I am single and Moroccan. That’s why they rejected my visa. I went through a very difficult period after that, I’ll be honest,” he told QG. “Music has no borders, but artists do.”
Issam also used the GQ interview to highlight the role Arab people are currently playing in music internationally, saying he believes Arab people are the future of music rather than Americans.
“American music does not innovate anymore. There is no more shock. Nothing new. It is time for the Arabs to dominate. I really believe it,” he said.
“I want us to unite and help each other. We can show the world what we have. This is our moment. It’s our turn, he continued. “I want to have inspired the next generation. I want to open the door to the Arabs. To make it easier for them.”
Issam added that despite having made his big break with the major record deal, he does not intend to stop grinding anytime soon, because wasting time is one of his biggest fears.
“I do not want to waste time. If I do not come home tonight and do not make music that can reach millions, I lost my time. That’s what scares me,” he admitted.
Issam, known for blending trap music with elements from traditional Arabic music, first came into the spotlight in 2018 with his “Trap Beldi.” The song was a hit, and also one of the first Moroccan trap songs to reach over 10 million views on YouTube.
He is expected to release his first album under Universal Music in January 2020.