Music has the power to bring people together and create social cohesion, even when words fail. As an art form with human interaction at its core, music lets us experience extraordinary moments of happiness. Plus, it has the power to move us to tears. Inan Adil is the bassist for three popular bands: Fasylive, Skyrock, and Raveo. Adil sat down with the Maldives Republic to provide insights into a commercial musician’s life after leaving a corporate job.

Inan has been performing full-time for the past six years. He recalls being inspired by his peers back in high school.

“I might have a few distant relatives who are involved in music on some level. But certainly none too well-known. For me, it was mostly friends. I spent a lot of time with them, especially in my teenage years. My friend Ammu was raised very close to it. We used to exchange a lot of music with each other. I consider him a major influence in driving me towards music.”

Inan performing at Chanaachaa 2022, an annual music festival hosted by Baiskoafu (Photo: Courtesy of Inan)

Deep connection

It is estimated that there are over 1500 music instruments in the world. While they are segregated into different categories, there are multiple reasons behind a musician’s pick. We asked Inan why he chose bass over other popular instruments.

“Bass wasn’t my first choice. In school, Ammu and a few other friends formed a line-up called Sanitarium and both guitar slots (lead and rhythm) and drums were already taken. So, it was done involuntarily at first. But, soon after, I discovered Cliff Burton, who was the bassist for Metallica from 1982 until his death in 1986. It was then I started forming a deep connection with the instrument.”

Although forms of music such as Boduberu drumming and singing have been parts of the Maldivian identity, pursuing a career in music or the arts is rarely a Maldivian parent’s dream for their children. Inan explains how he built a full-time career in music and whether he faced any challenges in the process.

“I have a Bachelor’s Degree and I worked in the public sector for quite some time. I had started my Master’s when I actually made the change. For me, it was mostly the fact that work didn’t fulfil me at all. I felt like I was not seeing any results. My transition began when I got a regular gig for Fridays with a blues band called Soulberry. So, I would tend to my job from Sunday to Thursday and go to resort on Fridays. Then we got three more gigs for every Sunday, Monday and Thursday. That was my opportunity to leave the corporate life behind.

Remedial creativity

Being a commercial musician – especially performing at resorts – is as much about providing a service as it is about expressing oneself. Inan explains that they perform to entertain guests, so they make sure that the setlist is curated to their liking. He always tries to add a personal touch to the bassline, which makes it more enjoyable for him.

Inan suggests passion projects as the best remedy to prevent creativity from dwindling due to repetition. He advises that if consistent growth is what you seek as a musician, it is wise not to lose sight of why you decided to pursue a career in the craft.

To not only survive but also thrive as a commercial musician, Inan recommends thinking of oneself as a freelancer and building rapport with clients. He suggests looking presentable, developing communication and problem-solving skills, being flexible, understanding, and professional, so clients would be incentivized to recommend you to other resorts.

Inan is set to depart on tour with Fasylive, where he performed bass on their latest and fourth studio album, ROCK, to perform at the Rainforest Music Festival 2023 in Sarawak Cultural Village, Kuching, Malaysia. The festival is scheduled to take place from June 23 to 25, and the band will be sharing the stage with big names such as Gipsy Kings.