Saadi Halil was first discovered when he was 16 years old. Ben Maddahi, VP of A&R at Atlantic Record’s Artist Publishing Group heard a demo the high school sophomore recorded in his bedroom closet.
Maddahi was stunned that he was listening to a teenager. Saadi sounded like a middle-aged man that had lived a road weary and heartbroken life and self medicated with cheap whiskey and cigarettes. Maddahi offered to give Saadi a proper recording opportunity and engaged two-time Grammy award winning engineer Ted Greenberg to record a new demo at Westlake Studios in Hollywood, CA.
Maddahi shared the recordings with Jeff Jampol of JAM, Inc. (Estate manager to The Doors, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Tupac Shakur, Peter Tosh, et al.), who loved the raw, timeless sounding talent; weathered and wise beyond his years. Jampol began consulting Saadi and provided him with new instruments and touring gear through Guitar Center Pro services. Saadi continued to develop. Writing, performing regularly and resisting influence to accept commercially viable offers.
After a live performance and interview on Santa Cruz’s most listened to radio station (KZSC 88.1) Saadi was introduced to the Genocide Intervention Network. Saadi headlined several awareness fundraisers for the genocide in Darfur and his song “One More Day” appeared on Youth Alliance for Darfur’s compilation album, “Songs for Sudan”.
Saadi continued playing private fundraisers in Los Angeles with world-renowned percussionist, Leon Mobley (Ben Harper, Damian Marley and Nas). Saadi also headlined several fundraisers for the Daraja Academy, the first free school for girls in Kenya, and wrote the school’s anthem ‘Tuko Daraja” in Swahili.
Saadi traveled the world, studying various languages and incorporating different styles of folk music into his repertoire. Living in Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Portugal and Spain influenced the diversity of his Blues and American folk sound.
Saadi was living in Washington, D.C. during the 2008 Presidential campaign and election of Barack Obama. He wrote the folk song-“A Nation Reborn” to memorialize the historic event. Democratic National Committee chairwoman Cheryl Green thanked Saadi for the song and asked for his “continued commitment” in protecting the “values we hold so dear.” "A Nation Reborn" was also the only original music used for AMC’s promotion of “Chimes of Freedom: Songs of Bob Dylan” (Columbia Records).
Although Saadi has well over a dozen unofficial EPs, bootlegged recordings and an original song catalogue of over 100 songs, he only has one official release, “Before I Head Out Again”. This album however is a testament to Saadi's diversity as a musician and a person. The friend/guest musicians include Katie Hampton (Sergio Mendes), Chuck Garric (Alice Cooper) Mark Tremaljia (The Michael Des Barres Band), Spencer Ludwig (Capital Cities), and Teddy Shrader (The Generators).
Most recently, Saadi wrapped production on two music documentaries. Saadi filmed and directed the features about Flamenco and Fado respectively in Spain and Portgual for the Dorothy and Maurice Shaprio traveling fellowship. Trailers for the films can be viewed HERE.