A duo from Oman, as their Instagram states are setting fire to Oman’s music scene, especially with their newly released album ‘Avenoir’. Akram Masruri & Firas al Bakri, or more famously known as Akram x Viirgo didn’t start their musical journey as a duo. A combination of fate, chance and a love for the art brought these two together and gave the audience an album that is sure to make it big. The word ‘Avenoir’ is defined as ‘a desire for memories to flow backwards’.
The album is Akram’s story of his life as he puts it, he said, “Basically the album is about everything in the past I’ve been through, the way I reminisce when I’m singing in this album are about past relationships, loss of loved ones and broken friendships. I want to relive those moments but I’ve learnt from them which has moulded me into the person I am today. There are songs where I address people that I should’ve had a conversation with before but never had. But now that it is all said and done, “Avenoir” is a start of a new chapter in my life.”
The album features nine songs, like every story — the album starts off with an introduction and with every song, you learn a little more about the artist. Each song is s story, but like every good story, you not only learn a person’s story but also find yourself relating and reliving your own.
But where did it all start? “Let me introduce myself” is the first line you hear in the album and this is what they had to say about their own journey.
Firas AKA Viirgo: “I started producing music when I was 19, I was always interested in making people feel or move a certain way, I felt that music was a way of translating my emotions into sounds. Funny enough, producing was my escapism and actually cured my anxiety because I was able to express myself and let it all out. 7 years later of trying to discover what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I decided that being a music producer was more than just a passion. I always wanted to work with a singer/rapper from the region for a long time, it was difficult at first ‘cause of all the artists I tried working with never took it seriously and didn’t have the hunger in them to achieve a goal as a full-time musician. I kind of lost hope, that’s until I met Akram. He was singing at an album release party. I invited him to my studio and the initial plan was to have him sing on one song on an album I was producing that included various artists. As he was listening from one beat to another, he looked dead straight into my eyes and said, “I don’t mind doing your whole album”. I thought he was joking at first, but, I saw him come to the studio every day and he had an insane work ethic and was fully dedicated unlike I ever seen before. That’s when I knew I found the right person.
Akram: I remember my first time going to a recording studio it was my cousins house he wanted my help with some vocals that’s when I fell in love with recording I was around the age of 14 or 15 I loved the whole process of recording, at the time I thought I could sing but I think I was alright but because I loved singing, my voice improved as I matured and I could notice the changes, I started hitting notes I wasn’t able to hit before and the more I listened to my favorite singers the more I wanted to sound like them and imitate how they sang but then I came to realize that each singer that I loved so much had a unique tone and style of singing at an early age I knew that I had to be different for me to be able to reach my full potential so every time I sang along to songs I tried making it my own I imagined how would I sing this song if it was presented to me then I discovered that you could only do so much with a cover…thats when I started to take interest in song writing and that just opened my eyes to a whole other side of music that I was just dying to explore.
It wasn’t an easy journey, but through thick and thin on the 25th of January, Akram x Viirgo dropped their album at a release party at the Ambrosia Cafe. The duo performed live to a full house, and the crowd was taken through a journey as Akram performed songs from the album, giving us a glimpse of not only the songs but the story and emotion behind every song.
“We built a strong brotherhood bond and shared the same dreams. Fast-forward to 3 months, we finished off our first ever album.” Viirgo added.
Check the duo out on their Twitter and Instagram @akramviirgo, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/akramviirgo/.
‘Avenoir’ is currently available on all music platforms including YouTube and SoundCloud! Do check them out and show your support to the Sultanate’s local music scene!