Los Angeles, a place where a plethora of genres old and new find creative commonality. A breeding ground, if you will, where artisans from different cultures and disciplines come to create experimental yet very much relevant music. Stemming from Palestinian and Filipino descent, Hanni El Khatib is one of such musicians standing out from the herd. While his native sounding name doesn't immediately conjure connotations of rockabilly and blues in which he so fluently delivers, it does play an intriguing introduction to his music -- knowing that what you may hear next wouldn't follow the conventional rules of rock 'n' roll. With the reminiscence of '50s boogie-swing prevalent throughout, Khatib further anchors his affinity for blues via the use of his high-pitch falsetto, aptly blending it with stripped-back drum arrangements and garage rock guitar riffs -- an aesthetic built with the help of Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys who produced Khatib's latest LP Head in the Dirty. Signed to Stone Throw's subsidiary label Innovative Leisure, Head in the Dirt soundtracks the modern James Dean who battles dispositions of romance and speculation. With that in mind, we were keen to see what Khatib held in his Music Essentials, as he unveiled a list that consisted of musical muses, on-stage getup and travel necessities.
With a keen eye for customized rarities and vintage pieces, Khatib's Essentials holds sensibility both retro and current. Balancing opposites, vintage "7 vinyls sit alongside Apple electronics while a can of Budweiser is juxtaposed with its aftermath, Advil painkiller pills. Elsewhere, a one-of-a-kind denim Levi's vest wouldn't hold as much esteem if it wasn't paired on stage with his customized Gibson Les Paul. The use of pomade wax shows Khatib's usage of unfaltering hair products, while the vintage Rolex, sunglasses and Marlboro cigarette mini-amp only reinforces his palettes for the meticulous and exquisite. Hanni El Khatib is currently on-road for his European tour; head over to his webpage for more details.
Photo Credit: Theonepointeight