Obay Alsharani

In Edition #12 of the Chill Out Tent, streaming 28/3/21 we’re featuring some music and film from Obay Alasharani.

Obay Alsharani is a Syrian migrant now settled in Sweden, and Sandbox is his debut album. Obay started producing music back in 2013 in his homeland of Syria. His lo-fi productions fused dusty samples of Arabic music with crunchy hip-hop beats, and he gained a dedicated following on Soundcloud after he started releasing his productions under the name Khan El Rouh; “…it was great for escapism from all the horror that was happening outside when we watched what we started as peaceful protests for social equality and freedom of expression descend into a ravaging civil war between a brutal regime and the Islamists who took over the revolution”

As the situation in Damascus worsened, Obay fled Syria eventually being offered a scholarship in Sweden, which led to an extended period in refugee accommodation in the far north of the country while he awaited the result of his residence application. Here he resumed his beat-making, and also sought refuge in the world-building game Minecraft, a place where he could momentarily forget the chaos and destruction in his homeland and the upheaval and uncertainty of his situation in Sweden, and concentrate on creation.

After his residency was granted, Obay found a home and a job but became dissatisfied with his music production. So, inspired by the beauty of the Swedish landscape, the shifting colours of the Northern Lights, and the ambient sounds that had brought him comfort during this turbulent time, particularly C418’s Minecraft soundtrack, the music of Boards of Canada and Colleen, Obay embarked on the production of the deeply personal, calming and sheltering music that became Sandbox.

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