“I let you step all over me / (but baby, I’ve had enough, now I’m done),” sings Bahjat at the start of “I’M HERE,” the new song from the electro-pop sensation. Dancing between English and Arabic with grace and agility, Bahjat unleashes the first phase of “Mission A-Pop” with precision and attitude. The song and accompanying video — premiering here on HollywoodLife – seek to reintroduce Bahjat to the world as a talent many would be foolish to ignore.
“I wrote ‘I’M HERE’ during quarantine in 2020,” shares Bahjat. “Not only was it such an uncertain time in our lives in general, but I was also getting a lot of pushback from people in the industry who were questioning my vision and my decision to mix Arabic and English lyrics. It’s kind of my ‘comeback’ song in a way, because it captures the moment I got fed up with all the criticism and decided to carve my path on my own terms.”
“Sonically, I wanted to pay tribute to the K-Pop community,” he adds, “and the sound of the artists’ debut songs, because I feel like I’m debuting all over again with my new take on global Arabic music, which I’ve been calling ‘A-pop.'”
Bahjat explains that the music video is also emblematic of this comeback. “I wrote the song as a response to the pushback I got for mixing Arabic & English in my music. With the video, I wanted to symbolize all of this in a story set in a heist, where a group of young Arabs and I plan to take over a building. This building is a metaphor for the music industry, and the mission is called ‘A-Pop,’ which is the name of the music style I’ve been cultivating. It pays tribute to the K-pop community and their phenomenal global achievements.”
“To me, ‘A-Pop’ is the fusion of global and Arabic culture,” continues the singer, “so in the video, I wanted to highlight and include Arabic symbolism in the sets, outfits, and accessories. I also went out of my comfort zone and experimented with outfits I’d never worn before and danced in a music video for the first time ever! I hope the video empowers people to be their authentic selves no matter what anyone else says.”
Born in Libya, Bahjat fell in love with music at a young age, teaching him to play keyboards at age seven and learning guitar at age twelve. First taking inspiration from artists like Lorde and Taylor Swift, Bahjat began to upload covers to YouTube in 2011 when he was just fifteen. A few months later, war broke out, and his family fled for Malta. As a refugee, Bahjat and his family dealt with having their lives completely changed. Music, it would seem, would be the one constant in that ever-chaotic landscape.
After Bahjat and his family got their footing, he continued his pursuit of music superstardom. He packed a backpack and traveled to Stockholm to knock on doors – literally – of producers to help him make the music he wanted to make. Ultimately, he landed a spot in Musikmakarna – a pop music academy in the north of Sweden — where he built a strong network of songwriters and producers. In 2019, he released his breakout single, “Instanbul,” which has racked up over 35 million streams and 150 million YouTube UGC views. With his debut EP on the way – A-POP – Bahjat is ready to take the next step in his career.