A concept store selling streetwear brands inside a trendy café also housing a barbershop and a private music studio opened its doors on January 18 on Al Wasl Road in Dubai despite the pandemic.
Amongst Few cafe and concept store, created in 2014 by British, Austrian and Emirati streetwear enthusiasts, had been forced to shut down during the lockdown last year.
The Amongst Few Sounds studio was created in collaboration with Live Base, a company that organises music tours, artist bookings and partnerships in the region.
« Music has been something that has always been part of my life and my business partner’s life, » co-founder Flo Moser said in a phone interview. « Before Amongst Few, my business partner Mike was a DJ and I was a music producer, so it was all natural evolution. »
However, the studio is not opened for rent and only welcomes friends and relatives of what Amongst Few call their « tribe » for private sessions, according to Moser. This ensures they are restricting the number of people there and thus respecting local covid rules.
The choice of keeping the music studio private was voluntary for the three co-founders, as their previous experience in music shaped their way of seeing the music industry. They had decided to leave the industry because of what they say was a greedy, business-side of those working in it. « We just wanted to make sure it remains fun and the best way to do that is to make sure there is no money exchanged, it is just about creating, » said Moser.
However, given the covid restrictions, Amongst Few has stopped holding events such as barbecues and gatherings to respect social distancing rules, he said.
The studio wants to remain organic in its operations and have artists come in to create music, share it with other people and get to know new artists. Since its opening two weeks ago, internationally famous performers such as French DJ and record producer DJ Snake and Somali Rapper Freek have already been seen at the studio.
« Someone’s friend will be bringing them, it’s never that we reach out to them. It’s all very natural. We do expect international artists at the studio but it is not something we want to force, » explained Moser.
Working in a very « community inclusive » way, Amongst Few Sounds managers like to keep an eye out on releases by local artists and have an open email address for anyone to send their music. « If it’s something that we like or that we feel can align well with us, (…) we’re definitely open to inviting people if there is synergy, » said Moser.