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ASADI: blending Persian traditional music with technological innovation

With Seaboard RISE 2, ASADI merges Middle Eastern music with hip-hop and trap to create a transcendent sound.

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Certain artists manage to create a sound that transcends time and culture. Danny Asadi, better known as ASADI, is one such pioneering musician, known for his unique fusion of traditional Persian music with contemporary genres like hip-hop and trap to create a stand-out musical style sound all of his own.

His extraordinary performance videos on Instagram use Seaboard RISE 2 to bring Middle Eastern melodies alive in stunning natural landscapes, emphasising his sound. His eye-catching social media presence has cultivated a devoted global fan base that now sees him embarking on a North American tour this summer. His sonic talents have also caught the attention of video game giants Ubisoft – ASADI provided the soundtrack for the latest The Rogue Prince of Persia game released in May.

His journey with music began at the age of five, learning piano from a Russian teacher. "Because of her background, I played a lot of Russian Classical music that involved several fast staccato notes. This inched me closer to my drum pad obsession 10 years later," ASADI reflects.

By fifteen, ASADI had brought home his first drum pad, and Persian instruments gifted by his parents ignited his musical passion. This led to a decade-long artistic evolution, marking the true beginning of his ‘ASADI’ journey. "I learned the power of sampling, so additionally, I ran through a pile of old cassettes my parents used to listen to. I sampled a Persian song called ‘Pande Hafez’ and experimented with some simple 808 drums underneath. It was at that very moment I decided I forever wanted to continue evolving the legacy of my musical heritage through my knowledge of the modern and the traditional."

Innovation through instruments

ASADI’s innovative spirit led him to discover ROLI instruments, a turning point in his career. "If you’re a full-time producer, chances are you know about these incredible instruments. Word of mouth went around that you can now slide your notes, and that was simply genius to me,” he recalls.

“I started seeing it everywhere online, the Apple store, the local music shop." Seaboard RISE 2 captivated him in particular. "What drew me, believe it or not, is the fact that it utilizes Bluetooth technology in the best way, making it fully wireless, along with its shockingly thin yet strong design. I feel 10 years ahead with this technology."

In his creative setup, ASADI leverages the RISE 2 for granular synthesis. "I’ll take an instrumental recording, and sample it in my favorite plugin ‘Quanta 2’. The plugin has a few simple controls that I can easily map to my ROLI’s pressure and slide parameters in every key. After a few clicks, I am fully manipulating the way the sample is heard."

His approach to music creation prioritizes melody and composition, often starting with Middle Eastern instruments, virtual instruments, or samples before integrating drums to complement the arrangement. "I don’t find drums alone super inspiring until I understand the context."

The Seaboard RISE 2 has significantly impacted ASADI’s performance and creativity. "It’s simply given me the tools to be able to perform my favorite granular setups live with full ease and efficiency," he shares.

His videos on Instagram, which often feature natural landscapes, have become a hallmark of his visual storytelling. This unique element of nature began by accident when, at 19, ASADI filmed a video at a nearby lake due to a lack of funds for a studio set. "I was so tired of seeing my studio setup behind me when filming, so I went to a nearby lake to film my next one since I didn’t have the money to rent a set. I became obsessed with finding the next natural location to film me performing. Nine years later, I’m still trying to find that ‘perfect’ scenery—though I hope I never find it!"

Check out Danny in action with the new all-black RISE 2 set against a stunning ocean view.

Creating performance videos is a meticulous process for ASADI. It starts with crafting the best possible song. "I never create a song hoping I can produce in a way to perform easily live. My only objective is to make it the best song.” This is followed by programming and rehearsals to perfect the live performance. The final step involves finding a location that matches the theme of the music, planning a shoot day, and spending hours on travel, location scouting, setup, and execution. “Then I come back home and color the video — all this effort for one 30 to 60-second Instagram video, and I would not change a thing."

Danny Asadi – In the Shadow of the Sun

Intuition is a muscle

For aspiring producers and beatmakers looking to experiment with contrasting genres, ASADI offers valuable advice: eliminate the word unique. "Everyone is unique if they take the time to understand what they love and what represents them artistically. And before even going down that personal journey, I recommend first making sure you trust yourself and your intuition.”

ASADI believes that intuition is a spiritual muscle that guides you through the path that most resonates with your identity and purpose. “This ‘muscle’, like any muscle, needs to be exercised and kept strong. Because once you do that, you immediately know what calls for your name, without questioning your decisions — without any hesitation. You know that not only do you want to do music, but you want THIS music, regardless of what people like (mainstream), or what no one is making (innovative).”

This emphasis on intuition means staying true to himself as an artist is at the forefront of his music. “You simply are you, and you make it your number one mission to express what it means to be you to the finest detail. Every major artist, without even realizing, follows this wisdom, and believe me, every one of them knows exactly what they want to wear, hear, perform, create, etc."

ASADI’s journey is a testament to the power of blending the old with the new and the traditional with the modern. His innovative use of ROLI instruments and dedication to his craft continues to push the boundaries of what music can be. For aspiring producers, his message is clear: trust your intuition and stay true to yourself. In doing so, you’ll find your unique voice in the world of music.

Discover more from ASADI on Instagram, YouTube, Spotify and his official website

Learn more about Seaboard RISE 2.

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