Imran Al Aradi
Resident DJ at Radio Bahrain, MC and comedian, Imran Al Aradi’s eclectic skill set has turned him into Bahrain’s most favourable entertainer. The multitalented Bahraini has been gracing Bahrain’s airwaves since 2006 and recently as one half of the Morning Show duo with DJ Mojay, as well as making a prominent name for himself in the world of MCing and the comedy circuit in the GCC. Imran spoke with Perle Magazine about his journey thus far. Always wanting to work in Information Technology and with a degree in Business Informatics, Imran worked as a Communication Technology Consultant before he became known for being an entertainment personality. It was after watching Eddie Murphy’s Delirious and Raw comedy shows that Imran was inspired to actively pursue his dream of being an entertainer. “Eddie Murphy took stand-up comedy from a regular comedy night to ‘rock concert’ levels. He had a band playing, he was dressed in a Michael Jackson inspired suit and he pulled in a crowd of tens and thousands of people. It wasn’t him just cracking jokes, it was more than that. He was a superstar”. Imran remembers watching the show so many times that he had memorised all the jokes. Back then, he says, there were not many opportunities for an emerging stand-up comedian. Initially, he got his start with MCing at various events and once he joined the radio in 2006, everything got amplified. Imran says his job in Radio Bahrain was a result of a competition he entered with his résumé and demo CD. “Once I joined the radio I wasn’t ‘Imran the MC’, I was ‘Imran from Radio Bahrain the MC’. That lead to comedy and now I am a full-time entertainer”, he says of his career progression. His success also lead him to establishing his own business, earlier this year called StageTime Entertainment, an entertainment and talent management company.Always expected to entertain and make everybody laugh, the comedian explains that it is inevitable to also come across criticism. Though sometimes feedback can be harsh, he says, it is important to differentiate between criticism and constructive criticism. Sometimes it is worth noting what feedback is being given since it can actually help with improvement for the future, he says. “An entertainer has to understand that no matter what he/she does, you can’t please everyone. It is impossible, so you have to try and find a balance and that’s the key”, Imran says. It is also necessary take into consideration your audience he explains, because it is not just what is said but to whom.
Keeping vulgarity to a minimum, Imran says it is not something he uses in his comedy sketches, as he believes there are other humorous topics that can be mentioned. Of his own comedy style, the improv-expert says he likes to play up his dual-nationality, men and women relationships and marriage, and often finds inspiration from his own life. Imran explains that to this day a lot of people do not realise that being a comedian is his full-time job, even though he works at the radio. He says when he gets calls to perform at an event; people are surprised to learn that he charges to perform as a comedian. “One of the reasons why I established my business is that a lot of people don’t understand this is what I do for a living, this is how I pay my bills”, he says of his comedy acts. Imran also says that a lot of people don’t understand that there is a substantial amount of research done about the audience before any show, in terms of demographics, ratio of men to women, age range etc. “If you’re performing for an audience that are only familiar with a specific culture, that you are not familiar with, you cannot cater to that audience. A comedian has to do his homework” he explains. The comic says the most important part for him is to able to block out everything once he is on stage and just be there in that moment, “You could have a terrible day, you could be sick, you could be in a bad mood, but when you’re on stage, you’re there to do a job”, he says ‘’and as they say the show must go on, that is one side of comedy a lot of people do not know”. Imran’s hard work over the years has also earned him performances with some of comedy’s biggest names such as MCing for the Axis of Evil Tour in Bahrain in 2008, a performance alongside comedian Maz Jobrani and hosting various comedians that have come to Bahrain as well as doing performances around the GCC. When asked about his routine, Imran explains that because the majority of his show consists of him improvising and interacting with the audience, he does not have jokes written down. “I don’t like looking at my jokes before because a good percentage of my material is improvised. I go with the flow on stage”, Imran says. A naturally funny man, his multiple entertainment skills allow him to comfortably tackle every medium of entertaining people whether it is on the radio, live on stage or in our case a hilariously funny interview over lunch.
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