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From the War Zone to the Big Stage: How Ali Waad Defied All Odds to Build a Thriving Music Career

Surviving war and manifesting one’s dream are not deals that many people get in their lifetime. War is brutal, and so are the after-effects. For Iraqi pop singer and songwriter Ali Waad, the war situation around him never stopped him from doing the things he wanted and loved. His mother discovered his singing talent when he was three years old, and in 2003, the war made it hard for him and his family to live in Baghdad. In 2006, they left Baghdad for Jordan for survival and that period, Ali says, was one of the most difficult in his life.

Ali Waad’s musical dreams remained alive, and when he reached 18, he performed publicly for the first time in Amman, Jordan, and it became the defining moment for him to decide that he wanted to make music for the rest of his life. After living in Jordan for a few years, Ali and his family were sent to the United States as refugees, where they had to start all over again. As a young adult, Ali did all sorts of jobs in all sorts of places, from grocery stores to clothing stores. He was also in school and at the same time supporting his family in every possible way. He never stopped making music, and he established his presence by performing publicly at places like Emory University, Georgia State University, Kennesaw State University, Agnes College, and many more.

With the public performances, he was building a reputation and catching people’s attention. Ali Waad’s music career took a positive turn when he met former GSU Music Director, David Marcus, who set him on his professional journey. David Marcus helped with the arrangement and recording of Ali’s song “Jamila,” composed by Ali himself. The song was recorded at 800 East Studio with Ken Gregory and Engineered by Anthony Major. Chauncey Jackson filmed and directed the song. This propelled Ali Waad to a larger audience, and he has not looked back ever since. He graduated from GSU, after which he got a job at Suntrust Bank, where he makes enough to support himself, his family, and his music career.

He got married in 2019 and then returned to Baghdad to meet some more music personalities in his home country. His Labanese friends, Mhmd Arkoub and Ahmed Reda, introduced him virtually to the famous music mixer and arranger Ahmed Abd El Salam, who has proven to be a noteworthy influence in his career trajectory. With Ahmed Abd El Salam, Ali Waad made the song “Zaman,” which got more than 600k views. His follow-up song, “Enti,” which was released at the beginning of February 2021, has gotten more than 75,000 views. Ali Waad also got verified on platforms like Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Google, and SoundCloud.

Over the years, Ali has kept his dreams alive regardless of his circumstances, and today, he’s living those dreams. He’s working toward dominating the Arabic Iraqi Latin Pop genre with plans to break into the mainstream global pop music scene. He enjoys seeing people happy and having a good time, and he is committed to doing just that while making a name for himself in global music.

Learn more about Ali Waad by checking him out on YouTube or his official Instagram page.

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