She has always had a passion for music and singing. Despite having a successful career in finance in a multinational company, Carla Saad was adamant on pursuing her passion, music, which is why she left her job in 2014 to dedicate her full focus on As Per Casper. Read on to find out WHY, HOW and WHAT!
I read somewhere that you quit your fulltime to pursue As Per Casper, how come?
I was growing more and more weary and frustrated as my mind struggled to disconnect from the ‘corporate‘ to tap in to the ‘creative‘. I found myself dissatisfied with my profession despite my success and achievement. Something was always missing; it didn’t feel like me and not pursuing my passion was slowly becoming disruptive. I had just turned 30 and I remembered realizing that this passion, the one that keeps me up at night sometimes and the one that has been a vital part of my life ever since I could speak, surely deserved my full focus. Somehow, everything fell into place once that realization happened. Shortly after, I was introduced to Frank Kafka’s work and his words as quoted below, that he had written over 100 years ago, simply summed up my experience.
“It is easy to recognize a concentration in me of all my forces on writing. When it became clear in my organism that writing was the most productive direction for my being to take, everything rushed in that direction”, “Naturally, I did not find this purpose independently and consciously, it found itself, and is now interfered with only by the office, but that interferes with it completely…. My development is now complete and, so far as I can see, there is nothing left to sacrifice; I need only throw my work in the office out of this complex in order to begin my real life.
The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1910-1913
How did As Per Casper come to life?
I had made a new friend at football, Sebrina, who had mentioned that she was a musician. It took a jam session or two for us to realise and appreciate the musical harmony between our voices and styles. An impressed friend taking part in the first ever Sikka Art Fair, a contemporary gathering of young talents, in 2011 had recommended us to management and we got in. We needed a name and fast. Casper had already been my nickname at that point as Sebrina deemed me the whitest Arab she had ever met and with a quirky suggestion from one of our other friends, As Per Casper came into play and still is.
How is the music scene in Dubai and the Middle East?
I have been around the scene long enough to see it go through many stages. From there being no platforms for original music to be showcased to having several initiatives come into play, introducing Dubai (& Abu Dhabi) to the amazing local talent and exposing the local talent to an audience. As Per Casper has gotten to where it is as a result.
The scene continues to see regular shifts and I believe it’s due to the following:
The UAE’s turnover in expats which brings with it shifts in interests and musical tastes as well as the need for continuous reestablishment by bands.
It is also very much dictated by the brands in the market. For example, renowned sports brands associate more with the hip hop scene and back it up accordingly by collaborating with artists; events like Sole, establishments like D3, brands like Adidas all provide opportunities for artists in this category. This boosts that specific genre as a result.
The scene is what major players/influencers shape it to be. They mold and make it into what they want. I felt that tangibly when I co-founded the Rock Camp for Girls UAE in 2013 to encourage more women to enter the music scene at an early age, and that did indeed happen. So it’s up to us as artists to pave the way.
As of today, I believe musicians continue to be seen as entertainers instead of artists and that’s a shame as the original content coming out of the region is powerful and deserves to be heard and recognized.
What are you future aspirations/plans for As Per Casper?
We want to reach further and more. We want our music to be heard regionally and internationally and for that to happen we need to be present in these areas. We want to go on tours, perform for audiences, connect with them directly and not behind a screen or on social media platforms. That’s why we are in the process of booking gigs outside of the UAE.
Thank you for your interview and interest in our story and journey. We need people and organizations like you to help us carry our music forward!
Someone who gives deep appreciation to little things and loves to be herself rather than being someone else as she considers anyone else is already taken. She’s a fire sign and loves everything to be on fire.
If I were a song, I would be:Je Veux by Zaz
If I were an artist, I would be:Frida Kahlo
If I were a book, I would be:The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
If I were a dish, I would be:Sweet and sour
If I were a dessert, I would be:Apple crumble
If I were a spice, I would be:Cinnamon
If I were a sport, I would be:Swimming
If I were a period in history, I would be:1990
If I were a movie, I would be:Me Before You
If I were a series, I would be:Money Heist
If I were a verb, I would be: Dance
If I were an adjective, I would be:Bubbly
If I were one of the five senses, I would be: Hearing
If I were a flower or a plant, I would be:Gardenia
If I were one of the five elements, I would be:Fire
Do you turn on the radio in the morning on your way to work or class and after some time, find yourself turning it off? Better yet, do you sometimes automatically look for your AUX cord to save yourself (and your ears) from listening to repetitive music? I know I do. Not that I don’t enjoy my dose of catchy pop songs. Sadly, the majority of Lebanese radio stations play only western or oriental commercial music, leaving no room for local, underground music to gain popularity.
Mainstream or Underground?
Nonetheless, this hasn’t stopped local, underground musicians from paving their way. When you think of underground musicians in Lebanon, who comes to mind? Most commonly, it’s Zeid Hamdan, known as the Godfather of Lebanon’s underground music scene. Hamdan is the producer of many of Lebanon’s most known underground artists starting with himself and the many ventures he has taken on throughout his musical career. If you didn’t think of Zeid, you probably thought of the more mainstream Mashrou Leila, Wanton Bishops and Who Killed Bruce Lee, all of whom are Lebanese hits and internationally recognized.
Discover Lebanon’s Underground Scene
If you crave a taste of the real, local, underground experience, we’ve compiled a small list:
This indie-pop Lebanese band joins Elie, Mayssa and Fadi for a unique musical experience. The band is based between Beirut, New York and North Carolina. They released their first album, In Transit, in 2016 and recently released an EP, Studies of an Unknown Lover, in 2018. If you’re looking to be serenaded by an angelic voice and listen to something similar to Florence and the Machine, Birdy and Lana Del Ray, then Safar is the band for you!
Interbellum started in 2015 by Charlie Rayne, after having previously been a solo act. He wrote songs and when he felt he needed the support of other musicians, he and his producer Fadi Tabbal enlisted musicians from the Beirut music scene and they recorded an album together as Interbellum (2016’s Now Try Coughing). Today Interbellum is a solo project that Charlie and Fadi work on with the help of contributing artists. Interbellum just released Dead Pets, Old Griefs in Beirut and moved the project to Berlin.
Two childhood friends, Sara and Joe, came together to form Waynick along with musician friends; that’s the brief history of how Waynick came to be. The indie band formed in 2015, released their hit single Carolina in 2017 and followed with an EP in 2018, which they debuted at KED. Waynick also just released a music video for their song Better Days. Their upbeat and sometimes melancholic tunes are perfect for all you pop and folk lovers out there. It’s worthy to mention that they design their own covers, write their own songs and manage themselves, how cool is that?
Formed in 2012, Postcards is a dream pop/indie band that joins musical trio Julia, Marwan and Pascale. As with most Lebanese underground artists, they started off playing in pubs and later released their first EP in 2013 titled Lakehouse. They worked on their second EP with producer Fadi Tabbal and their first full-length album, I’ll Be Here In The Morning was released last year! They’ve opened for Angus and Julia Stone and have been touring Europe and the Middle East.
GIZZMO originally started with Joy, Camilio and Sergio, who were experimenting with different genres of music. Alex joined them early on and added electronic and upbeat jazz touches. Together they play indie-dance, funk-pop music. They first played at Fete De La Musique in 2016 at The Grand Factory before landing other gigs and releasing their EP in 2017. Most recently, they’re working on new material that they’ll be playing in a concert they’re planning for all those who miss them and they’re waiting for you to join their eccentric feels!
So, the next time you’re fed up listening to Ariana Grande, Drake and Haifa Wehbe on the radio; the next time you’re craving something genius and close to heart and home, you know where and who to look for, for some over-the-top tunes!
Imagine this: it’s an early January morning but it’s pitch-black outside. There isn’t a single white cloud in the sky, only raindrops falling from a greyish background. You squirm around in bed, struggling to leave the warmth of your bed sheets. You strategically think of how many layers you can wear while still being able to function normally. Soon enough, you make it to your office after rushing to beat the nefarious traffic. There, you find yourself making your first cup of coffee and starting with your first task of the day, early on.
From afar, it seems like a romanticized morning in Paris or London or even in Beirut. Up close, it’s nothing but the mere reality of the cruel winter season; the season everyone loves to hate, and hates to love.
You don’t need to imagine the scenario. It happened this morning; in fact, it’s happened every morning since the start of the stormy weather in Lebanon. Despite the cold, gloomy climate, you feel a burst of creativity; a zap of motivation hits you and you sit at your desk to start your work process earlier than usual. Normally, you’d think it’s because you want to finish early so you can leave on time. But according to NYU professor who studies behavioral economics, decision making and marketing, Adam Alter, this sudden surge of creativity is due to the “bad” weather.
It’s pretty common for us to try to keep ourselves busy during dark, winter days. We find things around the house that need to be finalized, we resume hobbies that we haven’t tended to in a while or we simply watch the movie that has been on our “to-watch” list since last year and snuggle up with some hot cocoa. At the office, we brainstorm ideas for pitches and start work on huge projects that we have been delaying for days. For students, it becomes so simple to listen to some music while focusing on calculus or some other subject that they think they’re not good at.
Whichever is the case, we do these things to avoid feeling down in a season that’s known to bring down the toughest of the tough, the season associated with “seasonal mood disorder”.
In Alter’s perspective, “bad” weather opens us up to creativity while “good” weather distracts us. On sunny, summer days, we are too preoccupied by thinking of suntanning on white sand, sipping on our ice-cold beer and taking cold showers to think of the things that really matter. We are too busy daydreaming of where we will be spending our weekends and which ice-cream flavor to get after lunch to care for the deadlines and responsibilities that are now piling on. But in winter, we want to avoid seasonal depression so much that our creative juices get flowing and we produce some of our best work.
“Humans are biologically predisposed to avoid sadness, and they respond to sad moods by seeking opportunities for mood repair and vigilantly protecting themselves against whatever might be making them sad. In contrast, happiness sends a signal that everything is fine, the environment doesn’t pose an imminent threat, and there’s no need to think deeply and carefully.”
Does Alter’s thesis on weather and creativity make sense? I ponder this deeply as I recline in my office chair, listening to this drizzles of rain interrupted by thunder and write this, after having struggled for months to write something decent, or merely just anything.
#YOUKNOWHER Elle a fait une performance badasse, métissée français/créole, lors du Live with MAD n°6 que l’on n’est pas prêt d’oublier.
#ANDREADURAND Chanteuse soul née à Troyes, mais aussi auteure/compositrice, elle allie les musiques ethniques du monde entier et la musique électronique dans un style bien à elle, très soigné et énergique. Pour en savoir plus sur elle, tu peux aussi consulter son interview exclusive.
#CHECKOUTHERPROJECT Andréa projète de tourner son prochain clip “Troisième Œil” pour rendre honneur à son univers électro-ethnique, tournant autour du voyage astral, de l’ouverture aux énergies et au monde intérieur. Sortie prévue : juin 2018 ! Découvre son projet en ligne pour tout savoir sur les 3 niveaux de contreparties !
#MERCIENVIDEO le premier niveau de contrepartie pour les fans ! Tu veux une vidéo de remerciement personnalisée made by Andréa ? C’est possible ! Elle va devenir collector, c’est sûr.
#MERCIENCHANSON le deuxième niveau de contrepartie pour les addicts !! Encore mieux, une chanson rien que pour toi ! Avoue, c’est pas tous les jours que ça arrive.
#MERCIENCHANSON+NOMAUGENERIQUE le troisième niveau de contrepartie pour le noyau dur des fans/addicts !!! Gravé dans le marbre tu seras. Ton nom apparaît dans le générique officiel du clip. Tu es des nôtres.