Musician of the Year: Qusai
Qusai is a true regional pioneer. Not only is he one of the first Arabic hip-hop artists, but he is the first professional rapper from Saudi Arabia.
Having learnt his craft from a young age in Jeddah, before uprooting to Orlando to establish himself as an important part of the city’s musical culture. He would later return to Saudi to help blaze a trail for independent musicians and artists in the Middle East, embracing the spirit of hip-hop, while capturing the uniqueness of our region’s culture. He continues to be a fantastic role model for anyone who dreams big, whatever the circumstances.
What does winning this award mean to you?
It means that a lot of hard work has paid off. As a kid from Jeddah who fell in love with hip-hop, it has taken me a decade of making albums and music to have someone like Esquire recognise and appreciate what I do. It’s overwhelming.
Anyone you’d like to thank?
God, my mom and pops, and my manager, Anwar.
What’s your go-to style rule?
You’ve always got to be original and creative because nothing is more important than being yourself.