Freshman, T. Jones, NIICO and Elias Brown. Image Credit: Supplied

S.O.S. is a hip-hop collective on the rise — and the only UAE-based band who can now say they’ve opened for both Wiz Khalifa and Kevin Hart in the capital city.

Elias Brown, NIICO, T. Jones, 24, and Freshman, 22, took their careers to the next level in November after winning the first Yasalam Emerging Talent Competition, coming out victorious from ten shortlisted acts.

The prize: a performance at the popular Beats on the Beach concert series during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and a year-long gig at du Arena for all Flash Entertainment events in 2016.

This month, S.O.S. — aka Secrecy Over Supremacy — released their 14-track album, Good Morning Dubai. Now, they’re gearing up for a full-on tour in China.

And as the 2016 edition of ETC kicks off, Freshman tells tabloid! what it’s been like since their big win and what the future holds.

What have you learned over the past year, since winning the Emerging Talent Competition?

Number one is keeping the family close. Before we look at anything, or we move towards anything, we have to learn to move to it together as one group, and not individually.

How has it been, opening for people like Wiz and Kevin Hart?

It’s really humbling, and at the same time, it’s like a moment. Once you’re backstage with so many established artists, it just give so much credibility to the moment, and that’s going to be buzzing you for like a week straight. It feels so surreal.

Do you ever crash after that adrenaline rush?

I don’t think so. It’s more of your energy. It’s the same person you are, whether you’re high on adrenaline or not. You never crash from it. On stage, you lose yourself, and then after that, your talent just works for itself and you do what you’re born to do. That’s what I believe.

What would you say each of you brings to the band?

A different energy and a different vibe. A different look. A different perspective of music. A different perspective of how we can move towards a certain goal or an objective that we set for ourselves. We’re all different people from different places, but [we] work on it as a family.

What about in terms of music?

Obviously there’s a lot of different skills. Jones, I would say, is the strongest singer. There are people stronger at delivery, people stronger at writing, people stronger at making instrumentals on a beat. At the same time, the most amazing part is that it sounds like one. All the production of our music is done from within the group — it’s an in-house production. We have a personal DJ, we have a sound engineer, we have a producer for the beat, we write our own music, we have our own studio.

Could you imagine doing this on your own?

I don’t think so. Sometimes you might be down, or you might be having a tough day in the studio as far as creativity, but when you’ve got your brother next to you to pick you up, and to give you motivation and inspire you again as to why you’re doing it, everything flows so smoothly.

How would you describe Good Morning Dubai?

I would say it’s a very diverse, multi-genre compilation of music. There’s artists singing and artists rapping. There’s different instrumentals — from commercial songs for the radio, to songs played in the club, to songs you can sing along to. It’s a lot of great, positive vibes. A lot of songs on there, if you listen to them, you get happy — you get this good feeling and good energy.

*Check out Good Morning Dubai on iTunes. Head to yasalam.ae before September 24 to register for the 2016 ETC competition.