Of Beats and Bands

Mustapha and Richie were first college friends and then band mates at MURAL. Both with their hearts in music, were part of individual groups: Mu of “Helga”, a rock band who came out with an album back in the Philippines; and Richie of Dubai’s hip hop group, “The Recipe”.

As Mustapha explained, “We were different kids who grew up all over the world but met back in the Philippines to finish our degree. That’s when we first connected.”

When Mu decided to move to Dubai, music and common friends led them to gigs and inspired them to come up with original tracks. Band building didn’t come easy, so they invested in looping equipment as band mates’ substitutes. With Mu on vocals and guitar (with a loop machine for more texture,) Richie does the beat boxing and together they push forward their year-old band born out of a life of passion and music.


Everyone has been in a band at some point in their life or at least dated someone who has been in a band but sooner than later, reluctantly abandoned their rock star studs to pick up everyday ‘responsibility’ breeches. When real life calls, dreams seldom answer.

MURAL is not just another group; it is an example of that abandoned garage band dream surviving.

And when they are not making music or playing Frisbee in the winter sun, MURAL has been known to try their hand at making truffle butters. Because that’s what beat boxers and guitarists do; they make chocolates in their free time.

“Right now our focus is just performing around Dubai, UAE and getting as many gigs as we can. And that’s how we are going to grow with more music, more friends and definitely more experiences,” said Richie who brings to the band his Dubai-bred influences.

With their first paid gig a few weeks ago at DIFC, MURAL is here paving the way forward into Dubai’s young and vibrant musical future. Experimenting with sounds, playing at open-mic nights and most importantly not letting their schedules get in the way.

“Growing up in the UAE meant watching a lot of Channel 33. The channel used to play a lot of videos by the 90s boy band East 17. When we opened for them in a concert sometime ago, it was definitely a cool point in MURAL’s journey; not just because it was East 17, but also because we admire bands like that, 40-something year olds, still making and performing their music…that is real passion. Sometimes when we can’t meet, we send each other files over the Internet and respectively build on them. It is the passion that matters, the rest falls into place,” they said, finishing each other’s sentences like only good ol’ friends would.

Mural is a Dubai based band made of and by Richie and Mustapha. Find them on Facebook.com/muralsound



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