Smailo one comes to America with a dream and a plan, and they begin in “Dance With Me”
By Kurt Beyers
Around ten months ago, the artist known as Smailo one left his native Morocco and moved to the United States to find musical stardom.
He has a plan, and the first step in that plan is “Dance With Me,” releasing officially on April 11.
“I’m starting now with ‘Dance With Me,’ and then every month, approximately, a new song will be released.” In about a year, he will have released the 12 tracks that will be his first album, My Universe.
“Dance With Me” is a pop/R&B song. Smailo’s (pronounced like “smile” with an “oh” on the end) voice is soulful and expressive on this dreamy, slow-dance number.
He created it from samples of “Careless Whisper,” an ’80s George Michael tune. He reworked the chords, added guitars and bass and made his own melodies and lyrics.
“‘Dance With Me’ gives me many feelings and sensations of love, in various places,” he said, “on the beach, in the pool, an apartment.”
It was just about four years ago that he decided to make a career out of music. Until his move to the United States last year, he devoted himself to learning.
“I was just working by myself at home, in how to sing, how to learn English, how to write and everything.”
“Then,” said the 21-year-old immigrant, “I took the plane here to America, this without nobody. I just took the plane, and I started to work and make music in America and try to find how to promote it.”
In conversation, he still has a noticeable accent, but there is hardly any trace of it in his singing.
He says his plan has overall goals and themes, like My Universe, next year’s album, but each song is different.
“I have many topics,” he said. “Every song has it’s own meaning.”
He is also not limited to R&B.
“Yes, I’m an R&B artist, but I can do any style.” I don’t have any problem with that,” he said. “I can do any style, because when I feel a song, and I like another song, I can sample it and do my version of it.”
His creation process is to set himself up with a sample, which he describes as more like an idea based on the sample’s chords. The music that comes to him then gives him the ideas for the lyrics.
“So, how I make my songs. I take any song I like and I — with my guitar — I take the chords and start to create a melody first of all. When I have the melody, I put lyrics on it, and then I think about the instrumentals. For example, a song like Michael Jackson and ‘Beat It,’ I'm gonna take the various instrumentals and sample that and add many steps on it. The most important thing is the personality — who I am in the song.”
He doesn’t divulge many details about the coming releases. That is part of his plan, too. In order to build suspense, he will reveal details slowly, with and through his music.
He has his day job here while he works his plan to achieve his dream of music. The plan, his talent, creativity and dedication are most of what he brought with him from Morocco. They illustrate one of the things he cited as making him stand out from other artists.
“I don’t give up,” he said. “Stay until you make it, you know, like, motivation. Don’t be a loser. But I explain that more in my music.”
To see Smailo one carry out his plan, follow him on these platforms for new music, videos, and social posts:
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