Why I Chose BIMM

Why I Chose BIMM – Sarah Al Shaybani

3rd May 2017

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Can you introduce yourself?

I’m an Iraqi singer-songwriter born and raised in Dubai and currently studying a Songwriting Diploma at BIMM London. I carved out the beginning of my musical endeavors back home in the United Arab Emirates with acoustic covers and open mic nights. It wasn’t long before I decided to start writing my own songs and sharing them with friends and family. At first, I was a little lost with what type of artist I wanted to be and what genre I felt most connected to. And I was lucky enough to have the right people by my side for guidance and massive support. The one who stands out the most is my producer. Together we slowly learnt that if I ever do create songs and release albums, then I’m going to trust the root of the equation and what inspired me since day one. Having said that, old school R&B was the idea. Mixed with electronic neo-soul and urban beats, that’s me in a nutshell.

How did you get started?

With a YouTube Channel! A couple of years ago, I was a little too afraid of going up on stage – something about recording myself behind closed doors felt safer. So I uploaded a cover every Saturday and called it “Acoustic Saturdays”, while taking the time to write some originals on the side.

A few months down that road, family, friends, and people all around were encouraging me to start performing live. That’s when little gigs and open mic nights came in.

It wasn’t until early 2016 when I was spending time in the studio recording and writing. It started with an idea and a suggestion by my good friend and Dubai-based producer, Rayan, and ended up being a 6 track EP titled Alter Ego!

Why did you choose BIMM London?

I really can’t put my finger on it; I did my research and something about BIMM’s presentation told me that it was the right place to be. I wanted to develop my skills as a songwriter and learn the ins and outs of what it takes to write a GOOD song on an international level. It not only felt like the right place to be but also the right time.

What has been your highlight at BIMM?

Besides meeting incredibly talented students and tutors, songwriting for sure. I never thought I’d explore such a vast range of techniques. Consistent writing and practice has been a lot of fun. I’m truly happy with where I am at the moment but very eager to learn more.

What advice would you give to future students on your course?

Take advantage of your environment; because BIMM makes it extremely friendly and easy to approach, we tend to forget that we’re in the presence of some of the most talented tutors. They’re initially artists, musicians, songwriters, producers, and performers, and they have what it takes to share a lot of knowledge. I think that’s the key to gaining as much experience as possible.

Author

Sarah-Louise Burns

After studying Ba(Hons) Photography, Sarah has worked in Social Media Marketing since 2013 - she's now part of the BIMM Social Media Team, and is photographer for the Who, What, Why series.