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Meet Hassan Dahik of HGroove in Pasadena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hassan Dahik.

Hassan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I remember someone in my family giving me the Gorillaz first album when I was nine. I sat in my living room and listened to it for two hours straight. I was blown away.

It introduced me to the idea of mixing different sounds and genres. Latin rhythm could be the backdrop for hip hop songs, there was punk, there was trip-hop and then there was Damon Albarn’s awesome voice on top of it all. I fell in love with music.

Since then, I had a metal phase, a punk phase, found reggae, hip hop, ska, and grew up with Ecuadorian bands like Rocola Bacalao and Sudakaya.

Today my music sounds as if John Mayer, Dave Mustaine of Megadeth and James Brown were born in Latin America.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My cousin Julio was one of my closest friends.

When he and his family died in a plane crash, I had a complete meltdown. It sent me into a deep depression, I got panic attacks and had heavy anxiety. I started writing poetry on the walls of my room. My family was worried and sent me to a therapist. The one thing I remember my therapist saying was, “Why don’t you write in a book instead.” That event forced me to become a more mature writer.

Can you give our readers some background on your music?
Music has the potential to connect people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs. It had the power to bring joy to this half Ecuadorian, half Lebanese kid who grew up without his father.

I hope my music can make people feel better about where they are in their life or at least get them out on the dance floor.

I am on the edge of a new movement where different genres of music blend together in both Spanish and English. El Comercio described my music as the mixture of technical musicianship with solid melodic hooks. I can go for that.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
One of my proudest moments was recording the single Que Pasa with John Avila from Oingo Boingo. He taught me how to quickly analyze and best use the assets of each musician. For instance, we recognized that the trumpet player could play really high notes so we used those tones to emphasize certain phrases. The cherry on top was up getting to use John’s great vintage fender bass.

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Image Credit:
Pictures by Cat White and Jason Morales

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