MTV Europe Music Awards 2008 Nominee ABRI, described as 'the
best original band Dubai has ever seen' (Time Out). Their powerful blend of Soul, Jazz and R&B resonates throughout the region.
The Dubai-based band was born when vocalist Hamdan Al ABRI met keyboardist Julian Symes in 2005. Within two months, the duo had enough tracks to produce their first album and were then joined by Rami Lakkis and Andre Atherley.
Dodging the conventional trend of musical 'genres', ABRI's music is a harmonious sound created by four musicians with extremely varied musical backgrounds.
Hamdan is a UAE national, having been born and raised in the Emirate. The singer's early musical approach was heavily influenced by his father's East African musical
background. From fronting a rap/R&B group with friends in high school, to a stint in a rock/experimental band while living in Miami in 2001, Hamdan has now developed
a expressive vocal style that is completely his own.
Julian Symes has been making music at an early age. Raised in London, England, he produced his first tracks using an old piano and 2 cassette recorder when he was only
eleven years old. Julian went on to test new musical waters in funk, bossa nova and jazz piano.
Andre Atherley also hails from the UK , where his formative years were spent playing drums in his father's gospel band. With the drums, Andre had found his niche; going
on to play in both salsa and reggae bands throughout the years and finally coming to rest in the rhythm of ABRI.
Like Hamdan, bassist Rami Lakkis was also born and raised in the multi-cultural folds of Dubai. Exposure to region's diverse mix of traditional music to Western
modern music inspired Rami from an early age, and resulted in the development of his bass playing skills.
ABRI has been seen performing internationally in the UK at the Vibe Bar, Monkey Chews, Jazz Talent and have performed in Dubai and Bahrain sharing the stage with
Kanye West, Mika, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Arrested Development, Shaggy and Kelly Rowland.
The band's single, 'A Piece of Yourself' won battle of the beats on the nations biggest radio station, Radio 1 and they sold more CDs than any other local band. Their
album, Sunchild released in the Middle East and North Africa on November 1st, 2007 was seen in the Virgin Megastore top 10, beating out Justin Timberlake and 50 Cent.
Recently, ABRI recorded their new album at the “Fortress Studio” in the UK. Will Davis, the mix engineer who is currently working on the album, had this to say about
the band: “It has been a real pleasure working with ABRI…their inventive compositions are delivered by one of the most exciting vocal talents it has been my
privilege to hear”. The highly anticipated cd will be ready for release in early 2009.