Bedouin: The Next Chapter In Their Fantastic Ibiza Saga

Posted on July 24, 2019

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

Looking at how they have shaped the White Isle’s clubbing culture, it’s hard to believe that Bedouin, the musical partnership between global nomads Tamer Malki and Rami Abousabe, only started the Ibiza chapter of their incredible sonic adventures a short five summers ago. After bringing their unique and mesmerising sound to the sands of Playa d’en Bossa, where they took over the home of boho cool, BEACHOUSE Ibiza, they collaborated on one of the island’s most successful alternative concepts, WooMoon, before being offered their own night at forward-thinking superclub HEART Ibiza: Bedouin Presents SAGA.

With season three in full swing and filling the Marina Botafoch hotspot up to the rafters every Sunday night, we were offered the chance to spend an afternoon with the enigmatic duo and chat about their third summer on the White Isle. After undertaking a saga of our own navigating the forest-covered hills of Ibiza to find the villa were Bedouin would welcome us, we eventually arrived in a stunning, quintessentially Balearic mountain lair for the interview.

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Bedouin Interview Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal005

While the Bedouin name carries with it notions of mystery, exotic adventures and a je-ne-sais-quoi kind of cool that few will ever reach, both Rami and Tamer couldn’t have been more welcoming and within seconds of arriving we were offered refreshing drinks and to fill up a plate with treats from the Middle Eastern spread laid out on the lunch table. Easy-going and relaxed, they let us lead them around the grounds and were just about up for any picture suggestion – except perhaps to jump in the pool for a inflatables race, but it was worth asking!

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Thanks so much for your time, guys! How is your third summer on Ibiza going so far?

Tamer: It’s been really good, the club is busy and the artists we invited have been amazing. We have a really nice core following, a lot of locals as well as people who have travelled from all over the world. I’ve been seeing some faces in the crowd that have been coming every year and stay on the dancefloor all night, and that’s really cool.

Rami: The audience has evolved with the party. In the first year, they got a little taste of the concept and then, over time, they have grown into a little family and it feels amazing to see how happy everyone is at the end of every set. That’s when it feels like we’re doing something that matters. From the beginning, we wanted to grow an organic following instead of relying on heavy marketing – and that’s what’s happened.

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Bedouin Interview Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal019

Bedouin Interview Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal020

SAGA is one of the trailblazing concepts that have started a new era in Ibiza club culture, offering a different sound and immersive experience for music lovers. Did you feel this was missing from the island before?

Tamer: I feel like what makes SAGA what it is, is that it is a little bit different from everything else happening on the island. You never really know if a place is ‘ready’ for something new, but you just have believe in it enough to start it, and go for it and see how it evolves. I never really felt that Saga was something so extraordinarily different that people had to be ‘ready’ for it, for me the most important factor was to find the right venue, the right lighting and production and the right artists to support it. But probably it was missing from the island because most things have been quite similar on the Ibiza party scene until recently.

Rami: Our music is a lot about storytelling. It relies on having what we call a ’centrepiece’ that really tells a story – whether that’s a vocal or an instrumental element – something that we find special enough to make a record around it.

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Bedouin Interview Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal016

Tamer: Now, there a few new nights emerging besides ours that have a different theme or musical direction. I think that’s exciting for everybody because the island hasn’t really had that for the past 15 years.

Rami: To me, Black Coffee’s residency at Hi Ibiza is one that is really exciting musically, and that’s definitely a night I can go to and rely on the experience. But there are also a lot of parties that I haven’t been to yet because they are starting quite late in the summer, so ask me again at the end of the season [which other nights I find exciting]!

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How do you go about crating the musical programme for each season, and where do you discover new talent?

Tamer: We try to focus on artists who we feel we have a musical connection with and whose sound we like, and then we put them all on a big list and see who is available to join us. And, of course, we have to make sure that each show has a nice flow to it. Based on that, we built the whole season programme.

Rami: We like to work with artists who we have really got to know over the years and where we know how they think about music. When it resonates with us, when we connect musically, they become part of our little crew. And because we play their records in our sets, they become part of Bedouin, of our tribe.We get send a lot of demos, of course, but then we also actively search on every platform from YouTube to Beatport. We spend a lot of hours searching, because you can’t just rely on what comes to you.

Tamer: And sometimes you discover something just by walking or driving around festival sites like Burning Man and Coachella; new music or we see people that we know and join them for a bit. What I think is really cool about Coachella is that there are so many different musical genres. You have the opportunity to see someone like Eminem or Beyoncé but then there are also some amazing techno artists and new talent.

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As you described the SAGA concept as a series of stories, we have to ask: Did you have a favourite bedtime story when you were children?

Tamer: I always remember the classics, I guess, the adventure stories they used to read to me when I was a kid like Aladdin or Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves.

Rami: For me the stories that become the really inspiring ones are the ones that happen to you or people you relate to in real life. Like, for me, growing up in an Egyptian-American family and spending time in both the United States and Egypt gives me a perspective on life and the world that I couldn’t get from a book.

Bedouin Interview Essentialibiza 2019 By La Skimal007

You’re based on the island for the summer, what do you like to do on a rare day off?

Rami: This is my kind of thing; hanging out in the backyard with friends and chill.

Tamer: I like to go to the beach or a nice restaurant – just take it easy, basically! I love seafood, so Ibiza is great for that.

Rami: And there are a lot of new restaurants that I’m excited about that are bringing Middle Eastern cuisine over here, which was missing a little bit before.

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A lot of Ibiza parties head to the other side of the world in winter to pop up in destinations like Tulum or Bali. What are your plans for SAGA?

Tamer: We try not to do too many Saga events around the world, but we have some shows coming up in San Francisco [on October 12th] and New York. We always want to make sure we find special places where we can deliver the full Saga experience.

Rami: And then over the winter months, we make sure we can have a good amount of time off, too. Last year, Tamer went to Thailand and I went snowboarding. It’s important to clear your head.

And we guess you’re heading into the studio, too?

Tamer: It’s quite difficult to plan studio time in advance, so whenever we have a moment we just head in. I try to work as much as I can when I’m on the road, too, but of course it has its limitations. But there are always ideas flowing around.

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And when you’re not together?

Rami: Like most remote teams work, we use the technologies available to us, but to be honest… [breaks out laughing] we are together A LOT. It’s not like we have that much time apart. In the beginning, before we started touring we were sleeping in the studio for weeks on end, making a lot of music and really solidifying our artistic process. But once you are travelling a lot, like we are now, you have to adapt. Now our process has become faster: we can spend two solid weeks in our studio in Brooklyn and come out with ten, eleven songs. It was a learning curve, but we have adapted quite well.

Bedouin Presents SAGA is on every Sunday night at HEART Ibiza until September 29th.

Further Information:
fb: www.facebook.com/BedouinOfficial
w: www.heartibiza.com

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August 2019

SUN 25 AUG 2019
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  • SAGA@ HEART Ibiza

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