What’s in my travel bag: Naser Mestarihi

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Doha’s favourite rock star on travelling for concerts and holidays.

 

Qatar may not be the most obvious place in the world to go looking for a famous rock musician, but it has its very own in the form of Naser Mestarihi. The 28-year-old was born in the country, of Jordanian–Pakistani descent, and credits the classic Guns N’ Roses album Appetite for Destruction with inspiring his career in music.


A master of many instruments, his favourite is the guitar, as demonstrated on his first self-titled release, Naser Mestarihi EP, in 2010, and then on his first full album, 1987, out three years later. It sounds like he has been busy writing new music too. “I’m currently working in Poland on the post-production for my upcoming album, Praed Street, recorded with international drums sensation Cobus Potgieter in Los Angeles,” he reveals. “It sounds amazing, my magnum opus, and a meeting of talent from Qatar, America, and (the Wieslawski Brothers in) Poland. It will be out this year.”


Naturally, a new album needs to be supported with touring and concerts, so expect to see Naser and his band taking to the stage in the region. Does that mean it is easy being a rock star in Doha? “It’s not easy being a rock musician anywhere,” he says. “But I love to represent Qatar when it comes to rock music. My advice is to play live and keep practising. That way you will hone your craft and open your mind to an array of styles.”



If you happen to catch one of Naser’s performances, you can be sure these items won’t be too far away, as he always takes them travelling:


My MacBook: I work on my music-related activities when I’m away, so I always keep my laptop around in case I need to go over mixes, edit artwork, or do interviews.


Swimming trunks: I always exercise when I’m travelling, even if it’s just a swim, although I can be too tired if a concert doesn’t finish until late.


My iPhone: I always take my two iPhones with me because I’m often busy filming things such as live shows as well as rehearsals to keep my followers on social media, such as Instagram updated. (@nasermestarihi).


Books: I need reading material when I travel. Generally it’s autobiographies, as I’m not much of a fiction reader. The last book I read on a flight was Swedish footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovi’s autobiography, I Am Zlatan.


My guitars: I will often take a Gibson Flying V, mainly because it’s the lightest guitar I own. I write a lot when I travel, and I’ll think up songs when I’m on a plane, so I have to transcribe them when I get to my hotel. I write music on holiday too, so I’ll usually have my Fender 12-string or Taylor acoustic with me for that. For more info, visit facebook.com/nasermestarihi.

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