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6Qs with Radio Host Hass Dennaoui //

bySeif Al-Din

Hass Dennaoui - Founder of Re-Volt RadioJeddah, Saudi Arabia in most ways is an unideal place to launch a hip-hop radio station. Putting on concerts is practically impossible and the logistical process is not without challenge, but Hass Dennaoui is more than up for it. A music lover with a mission, Hass launched Re-Volt Radio in September 2009 and has grown it steadily since. While it still isn’t a bona fide radio station, listeners can stream a rotating set of songs on the Re-Volt site and as of this past April, listen to a live stream when Hass goes on air. With a new mixtape out and big plans for Re-Volt, Hass continues to play his part in helping a growing scene begin to thrive.

First Hip-Hop Record: The Notorious B.I.G.’s Juicy
Movie: The Godfather Part 2
Favorite Rapper’s Favorite Rapper:

1. How did Re-Volt start?
The idea for Re-Volt came up when I first heard The Narcicyst and K’naan. I just connected with what they had to say and I asked myself, “Why cant I hear these songs on FM radio?”┬áSince all radio stations play the same rotation of songs without exposing new talent and songs that have a message, etc…I decided to do something about it. So I started the “Re-Volt Radio” blog to introduce artists I find, talk about them, interview them and stream their songs on the site.

2. Why hip-hop? Do you have plans to expand into other genres?
Actually hip-hop is just a part of Re-Volt. Lately, the main focus is hip-hop, only because I got introduced to this movement and these artists that are of Arab backgrounds reflecting a good image about Arabia. But Re-Volt is and will be expanding into other genres that harbor good talents, new artists and fresh music. Also I not only interview the artists themselves, but the people who are documenting and supporting the movement.

3. What’s the best thing happening in Arab Hip-Hop right now?
Well, the recognition is high for sure. I mean The Narcicyst is opening for Talib Kweli. Arab Hip-Hop artists are releasing albums, Lowkey made it on TV and BBC Radio for an epic performance, so many good things are happening.

4. What’s the biggest challenge?
Promoting the artists in the Middle East. This is what Re-Volt wants to grow into. I want to be able to get all these guys to perform in the Middle East, and I find that very challenging because sponsors look for commercial and mainstream artists. It’s sad, actually. On another level, the challenge for the artists is to maintain their path and reach success yet stay humble and modest.

5. Who’s your favorite Radio/TV personality or show host?
I’m a basketball fanatic – I like the NBA presenters, I relate to them. I really like Mark Jackson – I love how passionate he gets during the game, being an ex-player himself.

6. Tell me about the mixtape…
The mixtape came together in an attempt to gather the Arab Hip-Hop artists into one single track mixed by DJ Lethal Skillz who actually is a big part of why this was launched. It includes top heads of the Arab Hip-Hop genre. I have been getting amazing feedback and we are trying to make it downloadable so that people can enjoy it and blast it in their cars and MP3 players. Big shout out to Lethal SKillz and all the artists in this movement.

Ultimately the mixtape was created to expose Arab and pro-Arab talents worldwide, elevate the sounds of the Arab mixtape culture, encourage the DJs to step their game up and to keep your ears busy with the good stuff!

Check out Re-Volt Radio and listen to The Real Arabic Hip-Hop Mixed Tape here >>


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