What’s On and Hype hear from Arrested Development founding member Speech about Everyday People, Mr Wendal and more for his appearance at Dubai’s May installment of Sandance, Atlantis, The Palm.

Twenty-two years after they first broke onto the scene with conscious lyrics that shied away from messages of violence, hip-hop crew Arrested Development are still feeling the love worldwide. With their laidback beats – Tennessee, Mr Wendal, Everyday People – perfect for a sunset performance at Sandance on Friday, we hear what founding member Speech has to say…

“I write songs that I like to hear. I’m trying to live my life as righteously as I can. Writing songs inspires me to be better. Also, I want to create songs that are the soundtrack of people who want to improve their life and go to the next level.”

“I like the fact that people are downloading music that they love, whether it’s free or they’re paying for it, but I think if fans knew how small a share of any record deal a band gets, they would want to make sure they support the band.”

“Twenty years of this group has allowed me to see the world; it has allowed me to meet some of the most beautiful and amazing people; it has allowed me to meet my wife; and it has given me a paradise type of life so I’m super-grateful to Arrested Development.”

“The music to a song speaks to you. It tells you what the song should be about. There are certain chords that feel either refreshing or they feel depressing, and there are certain ways that the music moves that sort of determine the subject matter.”

“Every year I decide I don’t want to do this. I want to retire, plant gardens, go hiking with my wife and kids. But then something happens and I get re-energised, and I do what I think I’m meant to do, which is to do music and to write. That’s my duty. My job is to just do the art.”


“I’m not living large. I’m not a P. Diddy or anything like that. I’m comfortable, which is nice.”

“We’ve sold almost five million copies of our first album alone, and I’m not sure what all the others are put together. I’ve had fame. We’ve done the private jet thing. We’ve done the fans chasing us down the street thing.”

“One of the things I can say is that you learn by the ups and downs in your career to be extremely grateful for each
and every person that buys a record.”

“I love melodies but I also love when popular culture is introduced to deeper and more meaningful things and transforms the world. We try to make music as timeless as possible, with messages that are resonating with us, hoping to enlighten people.”

“We want to push music that’s about living your life in full instead of talking about violence all the time. We want to celebrate life.”

“We’re another perspective on hip-hop and black life. I understand the need for free speech in music, and I get concerned when the balance
is lost and people are only fed songs about strip clubs and guns.”

“Music is a shining thing and when people can go deeper and deeper and scratch more than what’s on the surface, people can see light and that’s when it’s really powerful to me.”


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Omar Basaad
The Saudi DJ and producer has the honour of performing the closing set of Sandance. Omar’s influences include Steve Angello and Daft Punk, as well as Khaleeji rhythms.

The Cape Town dance act are well-versed in working an outdoor crowd with live instruments, samplers and special effects. They have the likes of David Guetta and Fedde Le Grande demanding remixes, and have sold out shows from Amsterdam to Miami, and from Sydney to São Paulo.

Dubai’s own Hollaphonic step up to the decks after Pet Shop Boys. The first electronic dance duo to be signed by a major record label in the Middle East, their debut single I Don’t Want It To End went straight to No 1 on iTunes.

Scouting For Girls
Alternative rock band Scouting For Girls became radio favourites with songs like She’s So Lovely, Elvis Ain’t Dead, Heartbeat and Love How It Hurts. Their upbeat blend of guitar and piano has resulted in sales of more than two million records, and justified a greatest hits album and tour. Not bad for a band that only formed in 2005.

Sandance, Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah. Friday, 3pm to 3am, from Dhs300. Taxi to Atlantis. sandance.ae