By Mudassir Raja
Doha is fast becoming a multi-cultural city with its diverse population and different kinds of cultural and art-related activities. The city seems to cater the needs of almost all kinds of creative people. Well in that realm music is not an exception.
Different expatriate communities continue to bring in their music traditions with them. 2D’Cuba is a duo in Doha with members from Cuba. The band writes and composes soundtracks in Spanish and also plays classical English and Arabic music.
The band was formed just about two and a half years ago, but it is fast finding its feet in Doha. The bands members continue to create their original music and plan on placing their names on the global platforms. Community recently caught up with Adrian Mc Pherson, lead singer and composer of the band, to talk about band’s work and prospective gigs.
Talking about the little history of the band, Adrian said, “I and Samantha Echevarria Vigo joined hands about two and a half years ago in Qatar. Samantha is from Havana and I am originally from Guantanamo. I am the band’s director, composer, songwriter, singer, guitarist, bassist, percussionist, and pianist. Samantha is also a composer, singer, songwriter, and a saxophonist. I got her to Qatar after one of my friends and a very good musician in Cuba introduced me to her. We both are graduates from ENA, a national music school in Havana, Cuba.”
“Initially, we were five people to move out from Cuba and form a band in 2002. But, the idea did not work out back then. Then, I moved to Qatar because of my wife’s job. After coming to Qatar I signed contracts with different five star hotels but I could not do it all alone. I needed a music partner and I called Samantha to Qatar. She is young and talented musician. She is a very sweet singer and extraordinary saxophonist,” he said.
The band has been performing at different events and venues. The 38-year-old director said, “We are a freelance band. Besides playing in different hotels, we create our own music. We play Cuban, Latino, Jazz, English and Arabic soundtracks. I play classic Cuban 70s’, 80s’ and 90s’ hits. We also create our original music in the Spanish language. I am better at and more inclined towards Cuban music. Samantha, however, is very good at contemporary English music.”
“In Doha, not many people listen to or understand Cuban music. About 20 percent of those who can understand the Spanish language can actually appreciate the Cuban music. We do play other genres of music for the people but we keep promoting Cuban music at the same time. Often, we get a chance to play Cuban music at Latino Nights and music events at different hotels.”
The duo plays different kinds of instruments to entertain the people. Adrian said, “We play guitar, percussion, piano, and saxophone. My partner plays two kinds of saxophones that are alto and soprano. We also play maracas, a small percussion. Mostly we sing together. We create our voice fusion and we practice that for a long time.”
The composer sees a lot of opportunity for the Cuban music in Qatar.
“There are a few duos, trios and bands currently playing Cuban music here. However, they all have agreements with some clubs or hotels. Further, they are not creating original music. We, on the other side, are freelance. We are not bound. We’ve got a choice. We continue making new and fresh compositions. It helps us introduce our culture in Qatar.”
2D’Cuba duo has big plans for their future. Adrian said, “We are looking forward to working with an established music company here. We want to do some kind of fusion of Cuban and Arabic music. We are also in contact to form our own music company. We would like to work with a professional Qatari musician to create something new.”
“We are also trying to take part in X Factor, a British music competition show. We have sent our videos and we are waiting for the final approval,” he alluded.
“If we get selected, we will compose original Cuban music for the competition. We plan on making Qatar our base and shining in the world with our music,” the singer noted.
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