Rabea Massaad nearly missed the opportunity to play with Stormzy at Reading: “I almost didn’t see the message”

The guitarist also reveals he had no idea the show was going to be broadcasted on BBC when he accepted the offer.

Rabea Massaad

Image: Total Guitar Magazine / Gettty Images

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Rabea Massaad has spoken about how he landed his epic headlining gig with British rapper Stormzy at the 2021 Reading and Leeds Festival.

Speaking on the latest episode of That Pedal Show, Massaad explains that he “got asked to do the gig through Instagram,” adding that he “almost didn’t see the message” because he “never checks Instagram messages”.

“So I went in and I was just checking in… a friend of mine, Jack Duxbury, he was friends with the MD [Musical Director] of the whole thing, so he was like you need to check your messages, man, so I did.”

“Ended up having a chat with the guy called Kojo Samuel who’s the MD… he asked me if I wanted to play Reading and Leeds, because they wanted to bring back the idea of an old rock metal festival kind of vibe. There [were] way heavier bands back in the day and they wanted to reignite that kind of thing so I was like yeah, absolutely.”

The guitarist and YouTuber also revealed that it was only during the dress rehearsal — two days before the actual festival — that he realised the show was going to be broadcasted on BBC.

“They were like ‘Right, so that X in the centre you need to walk out there’. So we did the thing and I walked out and I’m doing it and there’s pyros and stuff but there was no one else on stage, and I sort of pulled the show director to the side and went ‘is it just me at the start?’ They’re like ‘Yeah, yeah’.”

“So I was completely paralyzed with fear at that point,” Massaad recalled, explaining that he was “very nervous” given that it was his first gig out of lockdown.

“The whole thing’s just like ‘Oh, this is so intense’, so I thought I just needed to warm up on the side, and then [Kojo] comes over and he’s like ‘I love these pre-broadcast vibes’ [at the] side of the stage and I was like ‘Sorry, broadcast?’ and he’s like ‘Yeah, man, BBC’.”

“I had no idea it was gonna be on BBC until about a minute, two minutes before we went on.”

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