Glenn Perry continues his illustrious musical career with the release of his latest song “Hello Dubai.” The inspiration for the song comes from his real-life experiences. The title has a deep meaning for the singer because it stems from a difficult journey that finally led to a successful career and a love for the place that made it possible.
With 15 albums and over 40 singles under his belt, Glenn Perry reflects, “It is my wish that my songs fill the world with love and hope.”
Glenn Perry’s warm and powerful voice has wowed audiences since his first appearance in Dubai. The talented musician is also a poet, songwriter, and producer. His guitar has been his companion since the age of 3, and with it, he has turned many of his poems into songs about freedom and love.
Dubai’s music legend first stepped off a plane, carrying a backpack and guitar, in 1976. An agent had offered him a performing job in a hotel but never came to fetch him. After failing to reach him by phone, Glenn Perry ended up roaming around the city looking for a space to stay. Lugging his meager baggage and already tired from his flight, his path took him through Jumeirah, Satwa, and Bur Dubai. He finally found a room to share with others near the fish market in Karama.
Legendary Glenn Perry was penniless at the time. He survived on eating the Arabic bread known as khubz and drinking tap water. The owner of the rooms also kept his passport instead of payment.
At the time, Dubai was a small city with huge stretches of sand and a population of below 200,000. When the Dubai World Trade Centre was built in 1979, it was the only big structure between Dubai and Abu Dhabi on Sheikh Zayed Road.
He often scolded himself for not paying attention at school. Instead of getting a degree, he had been engrossed with the rock bands of the time, listening to Queen, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and others.
Looking for work as a singer turned out to be difficult, but his lack of experience made finding other work difficult too. After many interviews, including tending tables, cashiering, cleaning, and storekeeping, Glenn Perry finally got work as an office boy at a bank. Not having the money for a shared taxi, he was reliant on his landlord for a ride. Unfortunately, the landlord was nowhere to be found, and on his first day, Glenn Perry was fired for being two hours late. The words of the bank manager: “You are good for nothing” haunted him for a long time after that.
With his rent already three months behind, Glenn was also not allowed to practice his music in his shared accommodation. He found consolation sitting on the stretches of sand on the beach playing his favorite tunes.
The newly opened Dubai Marine Hotel (now the Ascot Hotel) posted a vacancy that Perry saw while walking home from the beach one night. At the audition, he competed against 25 other singers dressed in glamorous attire, while Perry wore old jeans and a t-shirt. After a week, he still hadn’t heard anything about the position and started losing hope.
Life had never felt so complicated, he felt so dejected. On top of this, the landlord was threatening to throw him in jail for the 670 dirhams he owed. But deep down Glenn knew he hadn’t been raised to give up or lose hope.
A few days later, the general manager of the Dubai Marine Hotel suddenly visited Glenn. He had passed the audition. Glenn was offered a three-month contract with many perks. His life changed when he suddenly had access to a free hotel room, meals, and drinks. Besides the offer of a salary of 23,000 Dirhams, he was offered three 45-minute sets. Glenn became an instant hit and his contract was extended for two more years.
Since then, Glenn Perry has worked tirelessly on his career. His first album “Paradize” was released in 1990 and many successes followed.
Glenn Perry always feels welcome when he arrives back in Dubai from his travels. See his latest release “Hello Dubai”