Tamer Nafar is an award-winning actor, screenwriter, filmmaker, activist and founder of Palestine’s first hip hop crew DAM. He recently released his first track in English "The Beat Never Goes Off" featuring 12-year-old Gaza based rap prodigy MC Abdul and Palestinian singer Noel Kharman. Its video has already racked up an incredible 150k+ views and counting.

Tamer is doing an IG Live next Weds 6th October with Vic Mensah to talk about his tune, hip hop and the Palestine rap scene.

The track unapologetically celebrates hope, solidarity and unity, with the energy and defiance of hip hop, humour and Western cultural references, against the backdrop of Palestine, with its lyrics "That was a tank attack, that was a gas attack.

Never a heart attack. Because the beat never goes off" – despite the troubles and struggles, "The Beat Never Goes Off" demonstrates that hip hop is very much alive and well in Palestine.

Tamer, is already receiving early support from high profile Palestinians DJ Khalid and Gigi Hadid, as well as Riz Ahmed.

Here he chats to us about the inspiration behind his latest track and how he spends his time away from Music.

12-year-old MC Abdul was born in Gaza, Palestine where he still lives and first gained popularity at the age of 9 when he made a rap about freedom in front of his school in Gaza among his friends, the video went viral and garnered millions of views on social media around the world. He is studying at a school affiliated with the UNRWA.

He learned how to speak English from songs he listened to. His last Instagram video earned 6 million views.

Blasting News: Tell us about your latest single?

Tamer Nafar: The latest single is called "The Beat Never Goes Off," featuring MC Abdul and Noel Kharman, and Tam Cooper, Phillip Halloun, produced it. We worked on it partly in Gaza and the UK.

It started out as a sad song when I started writing it, but what we got was an energetic banger.

What does "The Beat Never Goes Off" mean to you?

When I was exhausted or depressed, I would listen to music; the beat never stopped for me. It didn't matter what my mood was. The beat is the soundtrack of everything, of every part of my body.

That is how I was raised as a child. When I came to write this song, I was witnessing a lot of attacks. For example, there was a gas attack, a tank attack, but never a heart attack because our hearts are still beating. The beat means the heartbeat, which means we are survivors of many different situations. We can beat anything in this world, and the beats take me to the hip-hop world. The beats were always a part of my life, so the beat never goes off.

What inspired you to release an English language track?

I started my music in English in 1999. I called myself "Untouchable" because I was in love with "The Untouchables" movie, but my English was bad. I started in English because when I thought of rap, I thought of English; this was back in the late nineties.

But, when the internet opened up, I began to learn about French hip-hop and hip-hop worldwide. So then I had to invent Arabic hip hop and became the first Arabic rapper ever. During the years, though, I have been doing a lot of interviews in English, so my confidence grew, and now I am very good at it. So why an English track? Because I can.

How would you describe your sound to new fans?

It's a very unique sound, like a kitchen. If you go to an Indian kitchen, you have the same vegetables, but the spices change everything. So if I have hip-hop and rap, my accent is my spice. My metaphors are spices, the visuals I've seen in my life are the geography and the spices I add to this meal – it's a food for the soul meal.

This track is everything I have been receiving from Western culture to whatever is happening in my "hood', which is a very specific situation. I am a Palestinian living inside of Israel, and that adds a different spice. It's the stories that I'm going to tell; it's the beats that we create and the sound that we bring. Even to the guy who mixed it, he comes with his own culture spices. With this track, first, I thought it would sound like a Kanye beat. When I play it, it is a Kanye; it is a Palestinian sound; it is a broad mixture of beats that brings something unique to the music libraries of the world.

How long did it take to write "The Beat Never Goes Off," and what was involved in the writing process?

The surprising thing was, it didn't take long. I had been working on English tracks for five years and wasn't sure if I would release them. But when I saw MC Abdul, I just immediately grabbed the pen. I took a few lines from old tracks that hadn't been released, reopened them, and took them to the new song.

I realised I had 20% of the song already shaped, and I was inspired as MC Abdul was sparking. I haven't met him in person, unfortunately, because there is a big wall between us, but the way he sparked the internet sparked my song too. It was one of the quickest songs I have ever written. It was easy to write, but I had to know how to split the dialogue we had. It took me back to how Method Man and Redman used to spit back and forth like a tennis game, so it just took me time to know how to divide it.

Where do you take your inspiration for your music from?

Everywhere and everything. A chat with a person, like my wife, a stranger, a comment on YouTube, a new album, a new movie. Now I'm popping Kanye's new album "Donda" and IDK's new album

When I don't have a passion or suffer from writer's block, I just restart and look for new directions. I take everything seriously; even a phone call with a friend can be very inspiring. If I have free weekends, I buy an expensive bottle of wine and put my headphones on pick an album; it's like a date; it can be Stormzy or Leonard Cohen. Just one that is inspiring for me and spend four or five hours listening to the lyrics and watching behind the scenes video clips, reading interviews that give the story behind the tracks.

I love the website Genius.

I might sound like a nerd because this is one of the most exciting things I love to do. It has to be an album, not a single. The album has to spark me, being with the artist, in his head – it's a journey, and I love to go there.

How did you get MC Abdul involved? And, did he ask you for any music advice?

MC Abdul has got a flow naturally and doesn't need anyone's advice (chuckles). He's just too young to write lyrics right now, but I wish I had his ability to flow at his age. So other than the lyrics, there was nothing; it was all him. This dude rocked it without me. The world is going to hear about him, Inshallah. On Instagram, I follow an account called Menaheat, which always brings new artists, and as soon as I saw Abdul, I went to his page and saw that he was following me.

He had already sent me a few messages before, but I hadn't realised it. I thought this dude is talented, so let's rock it.

The video is exhilarating. Who came up with the concept? And how long did it take to film?

The video was the creation from the imagination of the fantastic director Michael Zananiri, his idea, his filming and editing. He's Palestinian and lives in Jerusalem, Ramallah and London, between all those places. The idea was to find a crew in Gaza to film MC Abdul because I can't go there, and he can't step out as Gaza. So the idea was to film me here, and we do this amazing split-screen and go back and forth. I referenced 'Praise the lord' by A$AP Rocky featuring Skepta, but Michael didn't like that idea, as he said 'we're already split'.

So we went with the concept of 'The wall is separating us, so let's use the wall to unite us'. So we projected MC Abdul onto the wall as a symbol of the separation. And the scenes of the wall breaking, it's not unity, but at least on the screen, it felt like he's with us, and we were with him. And I hope that viewers can feel that. Big up, Michael.

What's next for Tamer musically? Do you have an album in the pipeline?

A full EP, around five to six tracks, is coming out on Robotunes and Empire, and I'm happy that we are working on it. We are working on the next release, and as soon as it's ready, we're going to share it with the world.

How do you spend your downtime away from music?

Family and sport, that's it.

I spend most of the time with my family, and I have two kids and my beautiful wife, and I'm addicted to sports. I have to do it once, sometimes twice a day. Even now, I'm kind of jogging, slow jogging today. I'm also into watching things, documentaries and funny things.