Fusing the smooth blend of jazz and rock

MUSCAT: An Omani guitarist and composer, Shabib Al Balushi is known for his smooth blends of jazz and rock with hints of middle eastern music creating a sound that is unique to him. From playing with friends at parks to playing all around the world, in conversation with Oman Daily Observer, this is what he shared.


Tell us a little about yourself?
I started playing the guitar in 2003, At first, it was a tough road, learning was difficult and hard for me but I fell for the instrument and I was determined and learned the skill to play from my friends. We used to play together and practice in Riyam Park in Muttrah and my father was a big supporter of mine throughout it all. Fast forward to 2020, I have performed all over the Sultanate and outside in Dubai, KSA, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Thailand, India, and Italy.

How would you describe your sound and vibe?
Honestly speaking, I love experimenting and playing all sorts of genres but I started off playing along to rock, especially along with my then band. Although the band is no more, I continue playing with various well-known artists from around the region. I have my recording studio where I love spending time composing and creating original tracks from both local and foreign artists in the region.

Who was your inspiration?
Growing up, I was inspired by Steve Vai, Pink Floyd and the scorpions, rock played a major role in inspiring me to pursue my musical talent, and someday I would love to meet my idol, Steve Vai, a three-time grammy-winning and fifteen-time nominee guitar famously known for his incredible guitar skills.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
My aim in life is to work hard, work and promote artists from the region along with bettering my skills as a musician until I can reach the likes of my idol and work with international artists from around the world and as soon as I can make my dream come true, I would love to bring that platform to Oman for our local artists, by building a big music studio for myself and others like me along with a shop dedicated to everything guitar in Oman and the region.

Follow Shabib on Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat @shabibrock_ for a view into his incredible guitar skills and unique sound and support this upcoming artist right here from the Sultanate.

“Never give up, keep practising and play any and all genres of music until you find what you love. Don’t lose hope, and keep working hard until you get what you deserve.” — Shabib al Balushi