Monday, September 30, 2013

Listen: Hussein Jasmi 2013 Single "Ma Niseena" اغنية حسين الجسمى - ما نسينا | جامدة | جديد 2013 حسين الجسمى

The Gulf's number one hit-maker and best-selling really good artist Hussein Jassmi releases a new single, and the internet goes crazy, as people look for this song that aired first on radio. The powerful and since poetry pop comes home again, with "Ma Niseena"

It's a song about those who should not be forgotten, or those romantics are cannot forget. This is a triumph for the Gulf song, no one writes better expressive songs like they do in that region. The melody serves the song well, and the new serving of Hussein hits the spot and reveals the big heart he has and the skills he has where an ordinary song can get a new life with his voice.

اغنية حسين الجسمى - ما نسينا | جامدة | جديد 2013 حسين الجسمى

The Charming Freedom According to @MaherZain By @AwakeningRec

Everyone loves themselves some freedom, but then when one tires to define freedom, we do not have consensus. So, here's a song about freedom by the super successful and talented Maher Zain, whose Islamic themed songs have carried him into new lands. Freedom does unite people, but whose freedom? Watch the life footage from one of his concerts, and the images from around the Arab world--Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and then some.

I like the lights in the background, and the footage used, it does build up the mood of the song. this song feels 2011 though. We are sick of the details, we love the principle, but the aftermath is a nightmare.  We had hope then, now this Arab Spring thing has lost some of its fans. However, Sudan is finally joining the protest movement, so we might be witnessing another regime change. See, in theory no one will come out and tell you, "I am against freedom" even dictators won't admit it. As a concept we will agree but in practice, we differ. 

This song is visually pleasing, and comes with a simplistic good message. This message has vocals only, no music, this is done in part to please the orthodox Muslims. Anyhow, this is a charming track.

Maher Zain - Freedom (Vocals Only Version) - Official Music Video | ماهر زين - الحرية

Video: Alaa Wardi (Mr. Viral) Strikes Again عبدالمجيد عبدالله - الحب الجديد

Alaa Wardi is a randomly talented guy. He is now in the business of product endorsement where Nestle pays him to feature their products on his videos. This slacker looking guy lampoons himself in this video and changes his t-shirts to laughter.

See him conduct an orchestra of Coffee pots, and packets of instant coffee. He took a beloved Saudi song by one of my all time favorite artists Abdul Majeed Abdullah and performed an acapella version of it, it's half commercial, half sweet song. I am sure the rights were secured be the company. The song is about falling in love with someone who came a long way from a different country, to be your new love.

Keep on mind, the music you hear is naturally occurring music by random elements, like the noise Arabic coffee mugs make when they one another? you will hear it here. This is instant Arabic coffee made by a company that has nothing to do with Arabic culture.

AbdulMajeedAbdullah - Al Hob Al Jadid (Alaa Wardi & Sultan AlJameel) عبدالمجيد عبدالله - الحب الجديد

Sunday, September 29, 2013

WATCH: Singer Ramy Sabry Goes To The Gym تحضيرات لتصويربرتاح ووانا معاه 2013-رامى صبرى

Celebrities are just like us, they head the gym when they want to look good for a special occasion. Sure some of them are rich enough to have their own gym and personal trainers, but Ramy Sabry still likes to work out surrounded by other folks.

He released one of my favorite summer albums of summer 2013, now comes the time for him to make a music video, and the hit-maker has to look good for the upcoming song. Not too many male stars share their time at the gym, so his song sounds upbeat enough that you would think he is doing a song about a boxer getting ready to hit the gym.

He is a gifted singer and musicians, now he shares with us his exercise. He drinks a lot of water, and does a mix of cardio and free weights. I can never seem to do the ropes, he seems to do very well. This song is about enjoying life and not worrying too much, I like this song this is why it's the title song. I hope we can get a music video that brings the song to life.

Ramy Sabry تحضيرات لتصويربرتاح ووانا معاه 2013-رامى صبرى

WATCH: @SamiraSaid 2013 | MAZAL TEASER | سميرة سعيد ٢٠١٣ | اعلان مازال

When the biggest Arab diva wants to make a comeback, (this is real one trust me), she went home. Moroccan diva Samira Said has not released a decent or perhaps any song since 2003. This year she has a Moroccan song and the world will meeting this song. As for now we have a teaser and it sounds fresh and Samira sounds at her finest. Thanks to her will, talent and the work of one young Moroccan talent  Mohsen Tizaf (From Al Fanayer Band)

I know I use the term diva a lot, but when I use it for Samira Said, she embodies the term and meets all clauses. While artists like Amr Diab make a new album every 18 months or so, Samira does not make them often enough, yet she is still famous, beloved and booked. As for the new song Mazal, we know the photo shoot for the song promo took 13 hours and there was an Egyptian photographer, a Tunisian makeup artist, and a Lebanese hairdresser.

Her Facebook now says this:
After months of preparation, deliberation and auditing .. As Usual #TheDiva #SamiraSaid is not satisfied unless its beauty through perfection.. So it was a long absence, and as usual a result worth the wait. ?How do you imagine The Diva come back this time  
This is a comeback we all have been waiting for, and I know her fans in the Arab World, and especially Morocco are cannot wait to hear the full track. The teaser is already the talk of town, imagine how much the full song will be talked about?

When you think about Samira, consider this, my older siblings, myself and our younger siblings know her work and enjoy it to the max. So, she got no worries about the age demographics. Moroccan songs are exotic to many Arabs, so she will win that race.

Team Samira has done all the right steps to make sure her comeback is something millions are looking forward to.

WATCH:  SAMIRA SAID 2013 | MAZAL TEASER | سميرة سعيد ٢٠١٣ | اعلان مازال

Like A Sufi Rock Star With Iyad Haimour

Subscribers to the Sufi ways are the perfect zen master in Islam, they know how to relax and worship  not just pray. They seem to have developed superior mind powers that draws them closer to God. They have also done wonders for the world of Islamic music.

Among their favorite musical instruments, are your basic, the flute and the hand drum or "Daf". They have few enemies and their subscribers have done wonders to advance Arabic poetry, writing and music. They have a secret window that enables them to see things most people miss. This is something one can develop and harness, but it takes time like all good things in life.

Not to forget, their famed dancers that are well known around the world and often serve as a tourist attraction in places like Egypt, Turkey as well as other places. In places like India and Pakistan, Sufi music has found a safe haven where it has developed and branched out. Sufi artists are at peace with themselves, so they are able to look beyond the self and be united with that which they love the most--God!

Iyad Haimour, Naï soufi, إياد حيمور٬ ناي صوفي

Saturday, September 28, 2013

WATCH: @leonalewismusic #Lebanon Interview #Lebanon

The British pop sensation and past winner of X Factor UK Leona Lewis is a well-known entertainer around the world, she had a stop in Beirut and did some interviews. I miss her character, and super delightful tracks. She got some vocal muscles that no one can take from her.

She sold 20 million records, and she is just getting warmed up. She is a family person, a good looker too, but most of all this British songstress has done what many singer in America have failed to do, create soul-scratching songs and make them sound fresh.

The interviewer failed horribly to get us some new information that we have not already known, I was not sure if she even had a concert in Lebanon or not.

Leona Lewis

This Turkish Singer Stole This Egyptian Song--He Didn't Pay

The Egyptian song came five years before the Turkish one, now we see a newly released song by one super smooth Turkish singer Deha. Troulbe is that the music and style sounds a lot like the song by Hossam Habib whose song was composed by Tamer Aly, the Egyptian musician.

This is nothing new, most of the time this happens, someones settles and agrees to pay some money. But the hardest part is to get caught and now Tamer is talking about a lawsuit to secure his rights. It seems according to one source, Deha reached out to the company Melody Records and offered to pay, but it seems the money was not attractive, so Melody did not sign over the rights.

The song came out, and naturally the company and the talent is upset. If I am Deha, I would argue this song was leaked, and I did not authorize its release. Aside from that, both the original song and the Turkish version seem to address the same romantic issue, love.

The kicker is that Tamer Aly has already given at least four different songs for two Turkish singer including the mighty Mustafa Sandal 

Deha - Teşekkürler (2013)

Hossam Habib - Nesseit El Nass / حسام حبيب - نسيت الناس

Exclusive: Amr Diab - El Leila (Official Full Clip) HD عمرو دياب كليب الليلة Amr Diab

The most hyped music video of this year gets released and the lovers and haters of the world unite in talking smack about the music video for Amr Diab. The fans are defining their star, haters spoke ill of the fashion choice of the Arab world's biggest pop star in wearing a suit and flip flops. Now, this is a nice music video by any standard.

You do not have to like the song or the artist but this is a really cool music video with colorful shots, amazing cinematography and lots of beauty, the location and the ladies. This is music video has reminisce of Amr Diab's most beloved music video to date ""Nor Al een" Greece was a clever choice, and a change of scenery for the dull Middle Eastern music followers.

I like his style, his fashion I like the energy he brings, not so much the tens of clueless dancers, the model who danced with him is twenty years his junior. I love the guitars, cannot go wrong there. Amr knows his way with the camera, he tells the director who to do it, not the other way around. I like the fireworks and the colorful buildings toward the end....

I wish the times were happier in Egypt, they are not and the country is falling backward, Amr Diab saw it happen more than a year ago when he moved his family to Dubai where he now works in peace. "El Leila" was his best album, he made many since 2000, I think this one will be remembered longer.

Love or hate the man, he is a rock star and he is not going anywhere, he is the kind and he likes it this way. Eat your heart out competitors, Amr Diab still has it, and young old, they fall back in line right behind him.

كليب عمرو دياب الليله 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013

If You Ever Get Dumped, Listen To This Song! Naji Osta 3ataki 3omro ناجي الاسطى عطاكي عمرو

God Bless his heart, this Naji guy makes really good music, and he really does not have to. Why? He is good looking, he has a good voice, and he glows confidence. Him being able to release good songs is the icing on the cake.

In this song, he is setting in dark room reflecting on his broken heart "You, the one who took from my life more than you deserve", "I spent my time, imagined you are the one for me. " I love the production or how the music is arranged. This is a good song where the lyrics and the lines by the artist take center stage. The song is about someone walking away, and the other stuck picking up the pieces.

So, here it comes if you ever find yourself abandoned or heart broken, divorced of dumped, play this song, it will help the healing process and it won't be easy.

Naji Osta 3ataki 3omro ناجي الاسطى عطاكي عمرو

Awakening Records Releases "The Best Of Islamic Music" Album, Forgets The Women

Awakening Record has put forth a new mix album for artists working under their music label  The Best of album, takes the presumptuous title "The Best Of Islamic Music", while some Muslims may think twice on the two words mushed together "Islamic", and "Music", most of those who buy albums won't have to worry about that, they are hungry to hear something different.

They will get something out of this world, something that will please them musically, and heal their souls lyrically.  There is a certain poetic value for old world wisdom, and now for the first time this wisdom has been packed on an easy to buy CD.

No surprise there, the company's biggest ticket star Maher Zain has three songs out of 16 tracks. Hamza Namira, the Egyptian musician singer Raef with a guitar and pop tunes both have one track. The original Muslim music rock star Sami Yusus is no longer working under that Awakening Records label, but his most beloved song is included. But most of all, I am excited to hear all the new voices being featured on the album..New comers are always a bittersweet deal. I am seeing at least five names that I hear of for the first time.  

One thing, are women not supposed to sing? I do not see any leading female voices. Sami Yusuf did use and sang along female vocalists.....but I understand that not might be popular with some people on the margin. Nevertheless, it;s only right to let women sing--if singing is a way or worship, we know women are worthy too. Just a friendly reminder that might make the project much better. I know females buy albums too, and they too need a role model--there is almost nothing they have not done.

Some of those songs are produced in Arab and Muslim countries, the rest are recorded in London studios and around Europe. I like the selection of different songs, each come with a different vibe and a different audience. Some like heavier music, others like to focus on words, they can be attractive even if we do not understand them.

Track list

01. Abdulrahman Mohammed - Law Kana Bainana
02. Maher Zain - Ohibbuka Rabbee
03. Raihan - Solatuwassalam
04. Irfan Makki - Waiting For The Call
05. Mesut Kurtis - Al-Burdah
06. Zain Bhika - Mountains Of Makkah
07. Sami Yusuf - Al-Muallim
08. Inteam - Dia Muhammad
09. Humood Al-Khudher - Keep Me True
10. Nazeel Azami - Rahmanur Rahim
11. Mohmammad Al-Haddad - Malak Ghair
12. Hamza Robertson - He Is One
13. Rabbani - Ahmad Ya Habibi
14. Raef - Jumu'ah
15. Maher Zain - Ya Nabi Salam Alayka
16. Hamza Namira - Sehr El-Dunya

Raihan - Solatuwassalam

Nazeel Azami - Rahmanur Rahim (Higher Quality)
Humood Alkhudher - Keep Me True حمود الخضر - يحلو الوصال

WATCH: رحمه رياض - كليب الله كريم / Rahma Riadh _ Alla Kareem

She is a full Iraqi, the daughter of a musician beloved by Iraqis and she breaths Iraq. She is Raham Riad and she wants you to listen to Iraqi pop. Here's her latest song, which she filmed in Beirut. She is an authentic Iraqi songstress. This is a song she is releasing in the Gulf dialect to maintain the foothold she has already established in the bigger and richer Gulf market. However, the music has elements form the city of Basra. Her last public concerts was in the Qatari city of Doha, right before that was was in northern Iraq and in Baghadad.

Fopr a young starlet who shot to fame after appearing on the Star Academy, she has done very well, and keep on mind Iraq is going through hell right now and most Arabic countries are not much better off. You can say in the short three years Rahma has been in the spotlight, she has been on the air for two years of them. I may not like this song, but I enjoy her high sense of style and fashion. The fusion takes Iraqi "Hiwa" melody and blends it with "Khabty" from the Gulf

Do not forget, Rahma has an active fan based who are very involved with their young diva. There are many talented singers in Iraqi but when it comes to pop songs and female voices, Iraq compared to Lebanon is has a lot of catching up to do. Yes, there are Iraqi ladies who rock, but none of them is known outside Iraq--with one exception. Rahma is a great help in this department, her character is so fluid that she can wear whichever hat she want so. She can rule in romance like her debut song did, she can do parties songs like her Iraqi single, and now she is taking on the Gulf challenge.

Rahma promised her first album will be released in time, as she has recorded most of the albums, the number is nine to ten songs.

كليب رحمه رياض الله كريم

Download: Abdullah Alruwaished "Awesome" New Album البوم عبدالله الرويشد - متى بنساك

To Enjoy the album here

Abdullah Alruwaished is one of the rare voices that sings, dazzles and comes across as a statesman. This Kuwaiti hit-maker with a heart of gold releases his latest album and it features 16 tracks or pure romance, breakups and beautiful poetry. He is a very good oud player, when he hears lyrics he likes, he can convert them into a song on the spot. He is the musician who also happens to have a powerful voice capable to capturing the most sincere emotions.

Growing up in Dubai, I would listen to his music, then going back to Palestine, he reached out and won me over again, then just last year he showed his true color and visited Palestine. Not an easy thing to do, but he did it and sang over there and made people happy. He is a diplomat who broke the ice between the people of Kuwait and the Palestinian in the West Bank.

As for his style, Mr. Alruwaished performs songs as if a poet would approach them. He feels each word, he acts it with his face, and uses his voice as a vehicle to communicate the motions a song is meant to do. This is not easy to do, but Mr. Alruwaished does it every time and this way he connects with the listener hearts not just their ears.

The album released few days after his best friend passed away in Saudi Arabia, he buried his best friend--of 33 years and the company released his latest. He also dedicated the album to another musical legend (and mentor) Ammar El Sharie who passed away not too long ago. The writers of the album are all seasoned poets from Kuwait and the gulf region, some of them have worked with Mr. Alruwaished before. The artist composed some of his songs, and got Majid Al Mohandis to give him some of his best musical compositions.

You can rest assured, Abdullah Alruwaished does not make music for the money of it, or the volume, he makes it for art sake. He is a masterpiece factory. Each song is an epic performance from this man who stands tall and sings with passion, heart and incredible vocal strength.

01 - Leh Mar El 7elw
02 - Mata Bansak
03 - Kheery W Shary
04 - As2alak
05 - Lamny
06 - Washaia
07 - Akher Kelma
08 - Eftra2na
09 - Sa7lak
11 - Hadak Allah
12 - El Kobr Lelaah
13 - Yshtekelly
14 - Ashky
15 - La Tther El Shoq
16 - Ma3na W 3ebra

To Enjoy the album here
برومو البوم السفير عبدالله الرويشد - متى بنساك 2013 عبدالله الرويشد

وأعمال الألبوم تبدأ بأغنية «لي مر الحلو» كتب كلماتها الشاعر المعروف عبد اللطيف البناي ولحنها الملحن المبدع الدكتور عبد الرب إدريس، وأغنية «متى بنساك» كلمات الشاعر ساري وألحان الفنان ماجد المهندس، وأغنية «خيري وشري» كلمات الشاعر المحب وألحان الفنان علي بن محمد، أغنية «أسألك» كلمات الشاعر بدر بورسلي وألحان الفنان الدكتور عبد الرب إدريس، وأغنية «لامني» كلمات الشاعر ساهر وألحان العماني، وأغنية «أنا منهو» كلمات الشاعر ساهر وألحان الفنان عبد الله القعود، وأغنية «وشايا» كلمات الشاعر القدير ساري وألحان الفنان ماجد المهندس.
أغنية «آخر كلمة» كلمات الشاعر أمير عيسى وألحان عادل الماس. وأغنية «ساحلك» كلمات الشاعر عبد اللطيف آل الشيخ 
وألحان صلاح أحمد. وأغنية «افترقنا» كلمات الشاعر أحمد بن ظاهر وألحان مشعل العروج، أغنية «هذاك أول» كلمات الشاعرة بنت العطا وألحان الفنان عبد الله الرويشد. أغنية «الكبر لله» كلمات الشاعر مبارك الحديبي وألحان طلال، وأغنية «يشتكي لي» كلمات الشاعر القدير سعود شربتلي وألحان عبد الله القعود، وأغنية «أشكي» كلمات الشاعر مبارك الحديبي، ألحان طلال، وأغنية «لا تثير الشوق» كلمات الشاعر أسير الرياض، ألحان الفنان عبد الله الرويشد. أخيرا يختتم الفنان الكبير عبد الله الرويشد ألبومه بموال، «معنى وعبر» للفنان الدرامي حسن البلام.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

WATCH: ديانا حداد - ثـالث الأعـياد | 2013 | @DianaHaddad - Thaleth Al23yad Love Fantasy

Diana Haddad flew to Turkey to bring you back this music video, it's a love tale from the beloved Lebanese hit-maker, her song is about the third Holiday, playing on the notion that there are only two holidays, and the time they met was the third holiday. It's a holiday when she releases a song, this is how her droves of fans who come from all walks of life feel.

It's a pop song made for the Gulf market in the local dialect that Diana Haddad has sang before it was cool. Again, Diana is sort of a native to the region, she grew up in Kuwait, and lived in the UAE where she married (and later divorced) one of the local boys. I like her when she sings, I like her most when she sings in Lebanese, but a good song is a good song no matter what language or dialect it comes in.

I love the make over, and the youthful Diana Haddad, I also think they did a wonderful job picking a model, the couple looks to have come straight out of upscale outfit brand, say polo shirt venture. There are half a dozen of looks that Diana sports, and they all work well for her and show her physique. I think Diana has done much better than previous years, I like her approach of releasing a lot of work as oppose to one album every three years. And most of all, she is a lot bolder now without being over the top. She is unafraid to try no idea,s new styles and most of all new looks.

ديانا حداد - ثـالث الأعـياد | 2013 | Diana Haddad - Thaleth Al23yad

WATCH: Amr Diab - El Leila عمرو دياب - الليلة Amr Diab And The Dancing Ladies

He is our rolling stone, he is our Mick Jagger, he is the guy who never grows old, he is the safest artist to bank on, and he is Amr Diab. He is the household who is beloved equally at home and abroad. In Egypt he is king, and away from it he is also a royalty.

But this has to stop, does he use too many young ladies who dance around him? Too many times he did it, and not even once had their been a guy standing next to him? How small is he? This time he went to the magical country of Greece where he shot a music video and showcase the beautiful beaches and people who come from the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately, his album leaked and did not get the promotional campaign it was set to have, but the music video is drumming up the word about the album. And once again we are forced to comment on how good this sensational artist look. You get your guitar, and the well known Amr Diab hand gestures, you also get the ladies who are at least twenty years younger the the star himself. The good news, that model you see is 25 years old and has already appeared in a music video with Justin Bieber "Boyfriend" (Rachel Barnez)

The music video is set to play in the big screen inside Egypt and right now subscribers to a cellphone company can download the full video before the world sees it.

Amr Diab - El Leila (Official Teaser 2) عمرو دياب - الليلة

Why Does Every Single Khaliji Thinks He Is A Poet?

It's not secret how much the Arab people love poetry, much of our history has been documented by poets and storytellers. In fact, most of what we know about the Arab history is something we read in books of poetry. Even the poetry that came prior to the arrival of Islam is still treasured by Arabs.

Fast-forward to modern day Arabia and the Gulf, it seems that being a poet is the next best thing. For some reason every young and old soul in that region claims to have written some poetry. Some even write collection books, and pay big bucks to promote their words. But most recently  the big names have been booking top stars to sing their poems.

Worse, it also seems that top poets pay someone to be a ghost writers for their poetry books. There's a certain stature that comes with such fine words, that elevate the level of any given soul. Poets are taken more seriously than others. I recall my early childhood days in Dubai where people peruse other poets and sit with them to hear from their writing.

That's right poems are not turned into songs lyrics and are given for free to pop stars who turn them into mostly unnoticed songs. One of the names that get a lot of lyrical poetry sent to her is Lebanese Diana Hadad pop star, who seems to have a hard time saying no to anyone who sends her a song and a paycheck. While there are so many great poems that have received a great song treatment, most of these songs feel flat and lack a good melody to go along.

Other names are Saudi Rashid Al Majid and Iraqi Majid El Mohandis who hide out and keep their recording sessions secrets because they do not want uninvited guests to drop by their "best" poems to be turned into a song by this artist of that. And there is that Saudi female poets that pays Lebanese pop stars and funds the music video for the sons that they wrote.

جديد اغنية ديانا حداد - ما تنتصر بالحب 2013

WATCH: @ZAPtharwatAXEER @AxeerStudio | E7lam | Zap Tharwat | احلم Is #TalkIsCheap

What does seasoned and beloved Egyptian rapper Zap Tharwat believes in? I am not sure anymore? Has ever taken a stand that lives up to the lessons and advise his songs disseminate? Not even once, he tells young people to dream big, live their live to the fullest, and then he goes into hiding when people rally around him? I really though he was different that those hypocritical mainstream artists, now I realize he is nothing but a really great self-promoter.

Seriously, where did he go during the coup? Has he made it known where he stands? Do not think so, as an activist he fails, and as a singer he was missing. Not sure why, when we know he has an entire studio dedicated for his songs he would not have a problem releasing new songs. Sure, he can say, I am only a singer....and that's fine, but he should stop telling people how to live their lives when he caves in and shies away from politics.

People had dreams in Egypt, what did they get? Nothing the army confiscated those dreams and murdered dozens of dreams--murdered them to free them. Zap, I no longer believe in you, I will enjoy your music, but I won't buy any message you sell. It's a shame that you had nothing to say about the murdered at home, but feel moved to defend the victims around the world.

Likewise, the indie artists of Egypt have all gone into hiding--seriously,y where is that freedom and revolution they talk about? Such artists stood by the people when it was easy and when it got real, they all ran for cover and left the young ones who so very much loved their music and believed their message to die in the streets. Zap Thrawat did a lot of message-centered that appealed to the young (liberal and conservative), he talked about women rights, drugs, and such. He is all about message, but these things are easy conversations, no one hates you for them. The moment you take a stand say and stand next to the little guy, you take a risk. Such risk will make or break your legacy.  

See his latest song "Dream..." the Egyptian realistic title should be Nightmare....

@AxeerStudio | E7lam | Zap Tharwat | احلم

Download: Shady Elbanan new album By Kmusic sooon 2013 البوم شادى البنان - الموضوع مفاجأة

Shady Elbanan is out with his debut album, and he wants you to be excited, and so is the K Music label. Not a good time to release any new work in today's Egypt, but for new artists, the risk is minimal, and the cost is low.

This is an average pop album, with mixed songs from a guy whose identity has yet to be refined. I do not loath the album, and I think it's a better start for a young talent, Shady seems to have worked with some great names, his voice needs something to set it apart from the hundreds of other young singers who can do the exact same song. Flavor is what's lacking as for the songs they all sound alike after some time.

I like the variety, but when the same variety is replicated in the different album, it feels tired....couple of dance songs, with slow mo dance romance and few dramatic's essentially the same formula followed in Egyptian pop albums for any new or established name. Tough market, but a welcome album by the fans, and the people who are just starting to develop a musical sense.

Promo shady elbanan new album By Kmusic sooon 2013 شادى البنان

01.Be'edt Annak
04.Rabena Yekhaleky Leya
05.Haftekro Leih
06.El Mawdoo' Mofag'a
07.Sotek Wahashny
08.Ehna Lessa Feha
09.Ebn Embareh

اغنيه ابن انبارح من البوم شادى البنان (الموضوع مفاجأه )

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Thanks #Egypt, More Album Delays

The bad news from Egypt just gets worse, we are now learning due to the political gridlock in that country, violence and millions of revolutionaries, the music business is not doing very well. See, this time of the year is when new albums are released--schools are on a break and everyone is ready to listen to some music. But no, no one is the mood of releasing their hard work at those troubling times in Egypt.

  1. Amr Diab, the king of Arab pop was about to release his last album with Rotana--the mater has been done for some time. He did have a big concert in Australia, not his album is not getting a release date as of yet. it released on August this year
  2. Tamer Hosny big back comeback album is also back in the can, and it seems he won't be redeemed anytime soon. I was looking for this one because I know, Tamer Hosny realizes this album of his has to big excellent. It released summer of 2013
  3. Mohamed Foud, Egypt most righteous son has refused to release his album while his country men are dying. His album of ten tracks and three years in the making won't see the daylight yet.
  4. Ali Hajjar has two albums projects, one romantic and one revolutionary. He has yet to release his big music project and we can blame the revolutionaries for those delays. Not yet
  5. Mohamed Mohie, has also chosen to push back his release. Mohie has not released an album since 2008 and his style might not be perfect for those volatile times. No word
  6. Tunisian super diva Latifa was set to release her new album on Valentine Day, but since she was not really done working on it and the civil strive in Egypt and throughout Arabia, she will wait.
  7. Same goes for Moroccan  pop delight Jannat whom Egypt often showers with love. Her album that has been ready for some time, won't release for Valentine Day as promised. Due soon
  8. Mostafa Amar has a love album, his first in about four years. But it won't release either due to the national market mood and the dramatic turn of events  Amar suffered a great loss due to the release of his movie six months ago and it went virtually unnoticed. Due soon

Listen: #Saudi Rashed Al Majed Space Song 2013 راشد الماجد الفضا

Rashid Al Majid is a beloved entertainer whose name is bigger than the Gulf region where he is an A list singer and personality. He is also part owner of major music production company and a local one too. Blues are hard to come by in the Gulf--they go to Iraq for these.

Since money does not seem to be an object, they got little problems over there, the one thing they cannot control is love. Cannot buy love, this is why love tales are epic in that part of the world. Rashid Al Majid found a bluesy song where his woes are on display. I love the line, the only one who played with her hair is the breeze, has not been kissed but for her mother, and more examples of the virgin love they obsessed with

I like how they music is alive and gets one's feet chasing to a space where one can dance, even though the song might not be appealing to everyone. I say this and I know the target market for this song is the Gulf, they will cheer this song and welcome it. The song is about going as far as Mars to find her--and the title of the song is about Space..this is a love story in the era of science fiction.

راشد الماجد الفضا 2013

Watch: Hamaki Big Concert In Alexandria, - حماقى يغنى ' جرى اية ' من حفلة الاسكندرية Mohamed Hamaki

It's time to party, and Mohammad Hamaki loves to bring out the joy. He is the sharp dresser who knows nothing about politics, he sees death yet he sings and dances. This is all in his latest concert in Alexandria, Egypt. Blocks away where hundreds were killed weeks ago. I like to have a good time, but having good times will not change the gloomy future people like Hamaki ushering in.

Ok, let's pretend everything is OK! Lets' see how soon we will have to bury more people and blame others from the screw-ups our people bring upon us.

حصريا :- حماقى يغنى ' احلى حاجة فيكى ' من حفلة الاسكندرية تصوير خاص لاولترس حماقى

حصريا :- حماقى يغنى ' جرى اية ' من حفلة الاسكندرية تصوير خاص لاولترس حماقى Mohamed Hamaki

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tamer Hosny US Canada Tour 2012 Vs. Mohamed Mounir's

Two super stars from Egypt came to North America for concerts. Tamer Hosny had a good tour in American places in Washington DC, New Jersey and Los Angles during the month of February. Mohammed Mounir is visiting the same places in June where they are both set to perform and entertain Arab expats and Americans a like.

Sure those two concerts will draw different people. The activists will stay away from Tamer Hosny, instead, they will embrace Mounir whose early songs for the revolution and his style will sell big. Ladies and Young people will show up for Tamer, his romantic songs are all too popular.

The same company is organizing and promoting the events, so this is hardly a political issue, but an economical one. Egypt is not a hot place for concerts, artists keep away due to the instability and the insecurity that rock that country at this moment. Masterpiece and its owner DJ Tamer Yehya are behind those concerts.

Since these two artists will be coming to my city, I will probably attend at least one of them. 

WATCH: Iwan Catchy Music Video Iwan - El Layli 3id 2013 ايوان - الليلة عيد

Embrace for impact for pretty boy Lebanese singer Iwan is back in style with his hot bod, muscles, and pals. Not sure what the intro has to do with the song, and no surprise there, his love interest does not look Arab one bit. Why do Arab celebrity find it way easier to film music video with models who know nothing of what they are singing about.

I do not know, but I like the water park, an certain demographic will enjoy Iwans, almost naked upper body. This is a happy song that vibrant and upbeat, it's playful from a guy who knows his affect on his fans. Iwan needed this song, it makes him feel young. and hip again after six dry years. Comes a catchy tune with the signature Greek melody Iwan has been known for.

This is a cool summer song, too bad summer felt short and now we have moved passt the hot weather.
ايوان - الليلة عيد

حبيبة امها-صباح The best Mother Daughter Love Song

The golden Lebanese entertainer Sabah will live on. If not in the flesh, her legacy will be something that outlive the legend of this super talented and spunky actress songstress. Among the countless cute lady oriented love songs she has recorded and released, I have come across a song of hers that I did not think I knew.

The song of hers, is where she is singing to her girl and wishing her bundle of joy to grow and become a grown women, she declares to the masses that she loves her baby girl. It's a mother love song that beats any other song in even other languages. Keep on mind Sabah has a little girl of her own, the only person who trusly knows her mom, the person and not the legend.

She will grow up and go to the school, and do well three, I see her growing in front of my eyes, to become an engineer. Not only is this a song about mother love, but it also shatters a stereotype about women and engineering. I must be extra happy to have dug this song...

Most time such songs celebrate boys, not girls, but 50 years ago Sabah had the clarity of making such an emotional song about platonic love. Watch Shadia who had done songs for her little boy

.حبيبة امها للمطربة اللبنانية الدلوعة لصباح

Monday, September 23, 2013

Lebanese Nicolas El Osta, His Business Is Your Pleasure

The Socilites of Beirut met at the residence of two celebrity-loving doctors who were able to bring in the A listers of that insomniac city. Among the attendees was lovable and baby-faced singer Nicolas El Osta who gave the interview you will see below.

His latest single from last year was a big hit and he got awards and recognition, I like his voice, it's different, it's like if an Italian or French would sound like if he or she were to sing in Arabic. Keep on that smile and I know you will do just fine.

Nicolas El Osta

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Upcoming Music Videos From Arabian Girls Of Pop

  1. Lovable Tunisian songstress Shayma Helali has just wrapped the filming of two music videos in Lebanon. The director is Walid Nassif. "Wa La Yihimak" is a romantic song that reads like a poem--written by Siham Shasha. Second Song "Ad'ei Aleeh", her song in the Gulf dialect that's meant to bring on the Gulf wedding bookings.The filming took four days and we are hoping to see them soon.  
  2. Brilliant Moroccan pop hit-maker Jannat also went to Lebanon and filmed a music video from her album which released four months ago.The shooting is set for next week, and the song will be "Al Badei Azlam", a surprise choice form the decent album. In between Morocco, Cairo and now Lebanon, Jannat has been fully engaged. The song is pretty dancey with a groovy melody and a hint of bittersweet.  
جنات البادي اظلم من البوم حب جامد | jannat albady azlam

WATCH: Kid From #Syria Bewitched Arabs Got Talent تجارب الأداء -نائل الطرابلسي

I have mixed feeling about the boy wonder on Arab Got Talents, the young Syrian musician Nael Tarablsi. In one hand, he is a gifted piano-player who has the musical knowledge to be able to tell which note and melody are being played without looking. He passed the test, not only did he play vibrant music, but he added a little musical challenge.

The shameful part lays in the fact grownups are using him to express their failures. He is being used as a tool to talk about the war in Iraq. He talked about losing his piano in the war and such, which can be true, but I think it's a cheap shot. To add to the injury, many Syrian celebrities are now using him on Twitter to become more famous and relevant. MBC, is also getting the word out about him with his own hash tag #تحدي_نائل  Challenge Nael.....

We should all focus on his art and his talent, he is bless his heart a smart kid who has the intelligence and charisma many stars dream of. I love how confident he is, and how funny he comes across, he talks like an old man, but his music is something that will take him far, and he might be the strong contender on the show. I hope he will find his piano, as he said Keyboards are limited, unlike his talent that seems to be limitless. 

I do not think, he should be counted from one side of another, he is a Syrian and that's what matters, he is not a political party. He is a credit to that nation, using him for politics is shameful and will backfire.

Arabs Got Talent - تجارب الأداء -نائل الطرابلسي

Listen: Rouwaida Attieh #Iraq New Tear-Jerking Single عليمن يا دمع جديد رويدا عطية

Rouwaida attieh remains one of the most young and authentic voices from Syria. She has that voice that can rock the mountains, and wake up the those who have been asleep. She can also be sweet and sad, she has the vocal flexibility of an Olympian.

This time, she is not singing in Egyptian, Lebanese or Syrian, she went for the Iraqi dialect. The Iraqi dialect is hot again, and it means a lot for Rouwaida to make such a choice. It might be due to the active concert markets in some part of Iraq.

It's a song you would play in a funeral, it's an epic tragedy. If you get too much into it, you will break in tears, and tears are good in cleansing those dark hearts. Thanks to Dia Al Mayaly who wrote the lyrcis, and Adel El Iraqi wrote the music.

عليمن يا دمع جديد رويدا عطية

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Do Gooder Of #Lebanon Want You To Donate Assi's Pitch

Do-Gooder Assi El Hallani is about to find out the hard way that people do not really care about celebrities promoting good causes. He is hardly the first celebrity to promote a cause, but he feels like a million dollar wearing that outfit and talking to us about giving. They will never shy away form self-promotion.

Those are an earnest but often naïve persons (typically educated) who wants reform through philanthropic or egalitarian means. e.g. wealth redistribution, social justice, welfare, third world immigration, adoption of "disadvantaged" children (usually in the suburbs , and spending other peoples' money for good causes. They genuinely want human development & positive environmental awareness, although the methods are a source of debate.

He was recently appointed by an arm of the United Nations to help raise money in Lebanon to feed people in need. My question, how much do those people who have signed you up to join UNICEF make? If you can answer that, I will be the first to give to your cause.

Live Lebanon's TV Commercial with Assi El Hallani

WATCH: What's Hot In Egypt? Hoda Is! Hoda - Rohy Rohy / هدى - روحي روحي

Hoda has hit the big times now by doing a song for a popular TV show, now the talks are about a new street singer that the guys like. She has a very strong voice, where she can shout, and now she is dancing and hanging out with some nice cars. Not certain of her choice of fashion choices, but it might be what's hot in Cairo right now. She is all about Sh'abi songs, the kind makes you dance like a workout. While her songs might be a big hit in Egypt, they are nothing more than noise for the untrained ear.

Her story with music started in high school where she would sing at their events, then she goes to attend the Institute of Arabic music, then came the debut album in 2000, another album came in 2004. Then she started filming music videos in 2005 in Egypt and Lebanon. She claims a large fan base and seems to release many songs and moonlight as a popular wedding singer.

Hoda - Rohy Rohy / هدى - روحي روحي

Friday, September 20, 2013

Video: Diva Najwa Karam Does Morocco With Love

Najwa Karam had some major timing issues, her father passed away last week, right when her Arabs Got Talent was supposed to return to TV. Then she had the funeral, and now she just headed to Morocco for a concert she is obligated to perform.

Right there in Morocco, she founds lots of love from loving and screaming fans who line hoping to get a glimpse of their beloved diva. In Casablanca, they called her the sun, her most cherished title. Lebanon also got a shoutout. She had a meeting with her fans and the organizers and had too much to say about the art and people who love it in Morocco. She got to give a speech and be herself!

She also got to carry a baby and she seems confused. She also got to talk about her dress that she kept for her appearance in Morocco, then there was a birthday cake.

إيلاف في كواليس لقاء نجوى كرم مع معجبيها في المغرب

Listen: Emotional نور عرقسوسي قلب واحد - Nour Ireksousi Alb Wa'hed

She is a suave voice, and good looks, she also did very well during her competition on The Voice. The Iraqi icon, and musician Kathem Al Saher took her under his wings, and is mentoring her. Nour shares the stage with him in his most recent concerts. This Tunisian young talent can stick around for as long as she chooses to. The music scene might be crowded, but there will always be room for Nour Ireksousi.
Nour is something that can be compared to voices like Adele, she has dazzled the audiences with her impressive covers. Now, she is not going to cover anyone, she has her own songs, and a new single is making the rounds. One Heart, sure a cheesy title but an overall good song for Nour that keeps her in the good side of the fans. She tamed her strong voice to do a convincing heartbroken song.

Other issues, Nour has lost a lot of weight and has been able to maintain her stellar voice, I think this will help her get ahead.

نور عرقسوسي قلب واحد - Nour Ireksousi 2alb wa7ed

WATCH: Egyptians Love Their Murderers Song أغنية | يا سيسي أمرك

See the A list entertainers from Egypt and other countries pose with the army

Humor is a thing well-known in Egypt, the people over there can laugh, and tell jokes even in  the darkest of hours. Now, they have turned a popular classic by Abdel Halim into a political satire song starring the deposed president Morsi, and the general sisi who lead the coup. Of course, the singer made president Morsi look pathetic, but the army looking with lighter skin and full army uniform.

It might be that Arabs like those who intimidates them, they like those who kill them and threaten to doing so. They like the big stick, but you have to talk softly and tell them you are one of them and you are after the other guy. As time passes, the oppositions is always targeted and tomorrow's other guy might be you. This is easy to do since the basic rights and political institutions are absent.

The voice behind this song is B or C list singer Ahmed Salem, but the song went viral and folks in Egypt have pushed this song to the top. This is a funny song no doubt, what's not funny is the direction where Egypt is headed.

 أغنية | يا سيسي أمرك

وهذه كلمات الأغنية:   يا سيسي أمرك... أمرك يا سيسي ولأجل خاطرك... خاطرك يا سيسي مقدرش أخالفك لإني عارفك... تقدر تنكد عليا EASY  اسمع!! اسمع يا سيسي !   بالذي جَاءَ بِمُرسي وقتَما كان في حاله وجت له فرصة من السما ضَيَّعَ الفُرصَة مَن يَدِهِ وأحتَمى بمليشياته العبيطة فإترمى مبسوط يا سيسي؟ يا سيسي؟ مبسوط يا سيسي؟   حكمك يا سيسي غطى ع الكل... ع الكل يا روحي والله انقلابك زي الفل... والورد يا روحي حكمك يا سيسي على راسي من فوق وحياة روحي خايف أقول يسقط حكمك لتطلّع روحي ! مبسوط يا سيسي؟ يا سيسي؟ مبسوط يا سيسي؟   أنا قلبي عليك... عليك قلبي كان فين ده يا ناس ومتخبي؟! أنا قلبي عليك... عليك قلبي خلعوني الناس وأنا إيه ذنبي؟! أنا قلبي عليك... عليك قلبي حرجع محظور يانا يا غُلبي!! أنا قلبي عليك... عليك قلبي مبسوط يا سيسي؟ يا سيسي؟ مبسوط يا سيسي؟ - 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

@MarcAnthony "Vivir Mi Vida" Breathes A New Life Into Khaled - C'est la vie

Puerto Rican global star Marc Anthony took an original hit song by the Algerian and global hit-maker Cheb Khaled and turned it into a Salsa hit. Khaled - C'est la vie (Clip officiel) has become Marc Anthony - Vivir Mi Vida, which is good because now the song has reached more people and broke into the Latin American music market.

Cheb Khaled and his Moroccan producer Red One (Ridwan) made a global hit, some have written off Khaled, after his Aicha fame, but he was cool about it and all of a sudden he released a global song that was more riveting than anything he has worked on in the past. A good song is a good song no matter where it comes from. Once again, the music producers and musicians in the West side of Arabia outsmart the ones in the central and Eastern part....

As for Marc he has been opening his tour with this song that sounds liberating and knows how to fire up the masses who want to dance and move.

Marc Anthony - Vivir Mi Vida (Audio)

Khaled - C'est la vie (Clip officiel)

Khaled - C'est la vie (Clip officiel)

Meet The War-Loving And Gun Ho Syrian Pianist @MalekJandali @HotArabicMusic

In general, musicians do not tend to be the first to rush into war, but one super-talented Syrian pianist is all about war now. We are not talking about war in some distant land; this multinational entertainer is happy to see his country turned into ashes and rubble and not back down one inch. There are two separate things: Malek Jandali, a brilliant musician who has dazzled the world with his music; and the second is Malek Jandali as a war-loving activist.

May 2011 is when the world met the other Malek Jandali, who left his emotional and delicate soul to become a full-time war promoter. He now seems to want to bring war and destruction upon his people and the land of his ancestors in exchange for what he understands to be freedom. Freedom of extremists to take away your freedom in the name of religion. I have news for you Malek: your music will be the first casualty if those whom you defend get their way.

This does not take away anything from the genius musician he is, and he is also a great story-teller who certainly loves Syria. The problem with Jandali and his likes, is that they think only their way is the right way, and that God has enlightened them and only them. Would he admit to being wrong if all goes south? We both agree the Syrian people deserve freedom, but freedom is not chaos, freedom is not selling out and getting excited over an invasion and destruction. Another thing, if Syria turns into a mess, this celebrated pianist can chose to live in any country of his choosing (I believe he also holds citizenship in both America and Germany). Many Syrian refugees do not have this luxury and thus they do not want a war.

I am questioning what will Malek Jandali do after the war in Syria ends? Will he go back to his music, eat his word and accept to live under extremist rule? Just ask the Syrians who live in areas that have been governed by militants in the opposition: why are they protesting these violent thugs? Granted not all opposition are thugs, but the ones who carry bigger guns tend to have their way over the suit-wearing Istanbul-residing politicians. Things must change in Syria, no doubt, but change from outside has shown to backfire.

Malek, no one really understands the big game that's being played out in Syria right now, it's too complicated. I would like Syria to be the awesome party-loving, open-minded place it has always been, I would hate to see it turn into another hell-hole overrun by warring factions over turf wars. I know Malek loves Syria and he wants to do the right thing, there has to be a middle path somewhere....but for a musician to turn himself into a warmonger, this is sad. I hate to say it, but it seems had it not been for the crisis in Syria, the world would know little about Malek. Which is a shame, because his music is worth listening to--not his warmongering which seems to serve his marketing strategy.

P.S. On the same day Malek performed on the lawn of the White House, there was a large Syrian protest in support of the embattled secular president and they besieged country.

Malek Jandali CNN News - Dictator Assad Must Face Justice

Listen: Salah Zadjali, The Helpless Omani Romantic أعيشك - صلاح الزدجالي

Salah Zadjali is one of the finest musicians in the Gulf song has met in the latter days. He is an Omani composer, with a sweet and delicate voice that can channel the most minute sentiment. He has the look and the hair that make the career of a rate A entertainer.

And I consider one of those fans he claims around the world. He is the guy who works with singles, he drops one every six months and takes radios by storm, the internet loves him, but as for marketing perhaps he can do better. As for his music, he has his own studio and label which gives him great freedom to get creative without having to deal with deadlines.

I love his latest single, a romantic song about a guy who is stuck in a relationship where he loves that person, but feels that feeling is not reciprocated. The music is so smooth and makes you feel you are staring into the ocean and thinking the purest and saddest thoughts. The song reads as a neatly crafted love letter that feels like a poem written form the heart of heart.

أعيشك - صلاح الزدجالي H

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

GD & Woroud Valentine Day Romantic Duet

In North America, there is a Lebanese star whose fame is doing something that has nit been done. See, most pop stars come form Lebanon to visit America for concerts and promotion. But this singer is coming from America --he is of Lebanese origins and establishing himself as a star over there. The name is George Dfouni or GD

For starter, he is a business guy whose connection with Lebanese and like minded entertainers promoted him to sing. But there are also the early fans and friends who insisted on George to sing. So he hired the top talents at home, recorded his album mostly in North America, and his album was picked by Rotana. He kicked off his album in Atlantic City.

He has promised a romantic duet single which he recorded in New York with the help of new comer Woroud, coming in time for Valentine and the song has been picked by local Arab radios and most notably the ones in Lebanon "Jaras Scope".

GD sent this song to all the lovers out there and wishes them well. The song has a story, its composer Salah Al Kurdy wrote it to be a duet for now retired Fadel Shaker and romance hit maker Elissa--the duo has recorded a duet in 2008 (here). But since Fadel Shaker is no longer an entertainer, the song found its way to GD who tabbed Woroud, a young voice he admires to sing along.

I think this is a passionate song in the voice of the virgin /innocent love. It has its dream moments, it certainly hits all the right notes. While, I credit GD with giving us a delightful pop song, I love him for introducing Woroud.

Woroud comes form the land of LA where she has worked on a number of Arabic songs with producer and booking agent Miles Copeland

Sallamta Albeh - GD & Woroud - جورج دفوني وورود - سلمتا قلبي

@eli_beik Of #Lebanon Release The Dancey "eyes on me"

Sep. 18. 2013. it is with a big pleasure that I share with you the release of this new brand new track, "Eyes on me". The song is a dance mix, that has oriental beats flowing through it. Wriiten by Eli, and arranged by Dj Megayel, it features the vocals of the angelic "Sally Harby"  Eli has been curious about experimenting- I follow all his passions. no matter what. Music has been a passion of mine since an early age. So here he is making his own music... those who like it.. can enjoy.. those who don't can simply bash it... he is still enjoying his life and craft...

The song was delayed the release of the track because of the sad events in Lebanon due to the car bombs, however, the artist decided that any way of bringing more fun and adding a smile or even a bit of distraction is welcomed sometimes, to pull one out of tragic events... therefore, and after 3 months of delay, "Eyes on me" the follow up to his 1st song, "Arguileh" is now out.... I hope you enjoy it like I do.... Best wishes.

Join the Eli.
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eyes on me

Awakening Records - Faith Inspired Music That Mame Money

I like people who make profit while doing something good. Among those companies is the London based music label Awakening Records that has grow to be a powerhouse in Muslim/Faith and positive engagement music. They have a global audience as their top earners -the five biggest names on their ticket are doing well by doing good.

Their artists are Arabs, and non-Arabs alike who sing in more than one Language  Arabic, English  Hindi, Urdu, Turkish as well as other languages.

Among their brightest stars is Maher Zain, the best selling and most charismatic artist,, Mesut Kurtis is huge in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and only getting bigger in Arabia. Then comes Irfan Makki one of the new voices to join the label famous for his smooth R&B. Then the all Egyptian composer and rock star Hamza Namira who is putting some passion and good citizenship. And the fun guitarist and pop star most up to date Raef.

This is a good group whose last appearance locked thousands of fans who are as faithful as ever.

Awakening Records - Faith Inspired Music | 2013 Edition

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Listen: Arab Idol Ahmed Gamal New Single أحمد جمال " لو تعبان مالحياة "النسخة الأصلية "

If a song to fall asleep is what you are looking for, then tune in for the latest song from Ahmed Gamal, the Arab Idol runner up. The Egyptian musician have found a song that works well for his voice and his style. It's a sobering song about being grateful when being mad is a lot easier.

The song is about being a good person and having faith, it's not what you would expect from a pop star whose fan base is made up of mostly women. The tune and tone are both sad, and humbling, this is the saddest the young singer has ever sounded. His song urges others to pray and seek help from the sky. This is song comes in a perfect timing as few in Egypt want a dance song, they want songs about bigger things.

Nour El Deen Mohammad is the lyricists, Ahmed Gamal composed the music, Mohammad Al Assal produced it. Last we've heard from Mr. Gamal is his concert in Ramallah and his meeting with the lame duck Palestinians president Mahmoud Abbas. The young artists' fans are rooting for the artist and his new song, they all seem to agree the music is something special.

أحمد جمال " لو تعبان مالحياة "النسخة الأصلية "

Will Salaam's Train to Basra Stop In Your Town? Full Tour Schedule

Growing up in Chicago, Salaam's leading lady Dena El-Safar grew up on a steady diet of Blues and Jazz. Her father wove wild tales of his youth in Iraq for her bedtime stories. All of this shaped Dena and gave her a strong connection to the land of her ancestors.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Salaam, Tim Moore and Dena El-Safar are honoring the stories of Dena's childhood with a collection of her own tales. Train to Basra and Other Stories will be released on Oct 29th with concerts in Chicago, DC, New York, Boston and others TBA.

A locomotive whistle sounds out across the desert, long and lonesome, and the engine gathers steam. Men ride on the roof of the carriage, their laughter spilling out into the night. Curled up on the luggage rack, a young boy on his first train trip alone is too excited to sleep, listening to all the voices and watching the faces, the stunning bride returning from a trip to gather her dowry, a striking and friendly family of African-Iraqis. He knows he’ll remember every moment of this journey from Baghdad to Basra. He did, and many years and miles away it became the bedtime story he told his daughter, and the inspiration for Salaam’s new album, Train to Basra and Other Stories (release: October 29, 2013).

“It’s my childhood,” explains Dena El Saffar, the daughter who grew up hearing this and similar tales and became the founder of Salaam with percussionist Tim Moore. “It’s the story my father would always tell me. It made me interested in Iraq,” El Saffar remembers.

His tales have become hers. Every track is a story she weaves, from the hopeful strains of “Awakening” and the grand sweep of “Kashaniya” to the personal connection that inspired “Iraqi-American Blues,” a track that builds on the innovative Iraqi-Blues fusion that emerged on their previous album.

“It came completely spontaneously,” El Saffar laughs. “Growing up in Chicago, my parents would take us to Blues clubs like the Checkerboard Lounge on the South Side. We were under 21, but somehow we were allowed in. We were thrilled to be there, taking in the music. My brother Amir was obsessed with it. My dad felt a connection to African-Americans, so this is me expressing how it fits together.” Her brother Amir ElSaffar is a frequent collaborator with Salaam and is also known for his solo work on jazz trumpet and santoor and as programmer for New York City’s Alwan for the Arts, which presents performing arts from around the Middle East.

Train to Basra and Other Stories is the album where Salaam really spreads its wings and takes flight, one that celebrates the band’s 20th anniversary—a remarkable achievement for any band—and how deeply they’ve assimilated Middle Eastern music to the point where it’s become second nature. On “Kashaniya,” an ode to an idealized Middle East, El Saffar, classically trained on viola and violin, brings in sweeping strings to power the rich melody.

“It was like writing for an orchestra, big sounds,” she says. “It would be great to perform this live with a full orchestra one day.” Other songs on the album are more intimate.

That intimacy and understanding shimmers on “Joza Tears,” which features El Saffar on joza, the Iraqi spiked fiddle.

“The name joza means little coconut; a coconut shell is the resonator. To the west of Iraq it’s called the rebab, to the east the kamancheh. My brother brought me one back from Iraq. Sometimes it sounds like a person weeping. Iraqi history is full of weeping. Hearing Iraqis sing their songs, it’s like the Blues; there is a lot of heartbreak.” On “Joza Tears” she encapsulates that sorrow in the music.

The track began with just El Saffar and Moore. “If our other compositions are nods to Ethiopian music, the Blues, and Mariachi, this is our nod to electronic production as we layered and looped live drums and electric bass.,” Moore explains. El Saffar composed the rhythm and the bassline and then brought Moore into the studio on her dad's birthday. “Those special days have extra magic,” El Saffar explains, “so I try to compose and record on them when I can.” The rhythm line became a bed for her to improvise on the joza and add her melodic stamp, flowing from one Iraqi maqam (traditional music scale) to another.

Salaam has put their own fingerprint on the music they’ve played from their earliest days, when they were still exploring Middle Eastern music. It’s been part of a process of discovery that started in 1990, when El Saffar went to visit family in Iraq.

“I brought my viola and played Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, based on the Arabic collection One Thousand and One Nights. It was the closest thing I knew to Middle Eastern music. Then they played a tape of Iraqi music and asked me to play the melody. When I did their response was so enthusiastic, some of them getting up to dance…That was all the encouragement I needed. I was going to go back but then after the invasion of Kuwait it became impossible. I was so stimulated; it set me on this path. It changed my life. Back home, though, Iraqi music was hard to come by, so I listened to and played other Middle Eastern music. My brother eventually acquired thousands of Iraqi recordings and shared them.”

Now the music has become ingrained in her, and she’s telling her own stories. Perhaps none is stranger than “The Mariachi Stole My Heart,” where Mexico and the Middle East unite in the glorious declaration of the melody by the trumpet. “Not all my songs have protagonists, but that one does and it’s Amir’s trumpet.” At its core, the foundation of the tale is the connection the music makes in El Saffar’s heart.

“I love finding connections,” says El Safaar. “In Mexico, I felt like I could be in Morocco. I lived in Mexico for a semester in college and I feel close to the country in a lot of ways. The music there affects me. On my last trip there, I hired a Mariachi band and when they found out I played violin, they put an instrument in my hands and we played together. They just gathered around me and played and it overwhelmed me.”

But El Saffar’s most personal story lies in the final cut, “Mesopotamia,” which chronicles the way her understanding of her father’s homeland has grown.

“In the liner notes, I talk about what we learned in history class when I was at school. No one ever said Mesopotamia was Iraq. Going there, I fell in love with the history and I realized they could have made the subject more exciting.”

That’s exactly what Salaam does when they get invited to present Middle Eastern music and culture to thousands of school children. “I’ll never forget when we went to a school in Kentucky right around the time the U.S. was going to war with Iraq,” El Saffar remembers. “The children spontaneously began clapping along with our music. It was a visceral reaction that went far beyond the conflict that was going on between governments. I’ve connected to so many people across cultures through music and story and, whether through our compositions and recordings or through educational programs, that’s our contribution to the world.”

Stories have magic. They both transport us and show the common ground we all share. And with the tales on Train to Basra and Other Stories, Salaam takes the listener to the Middle East of the heart and soul.

Salaam, Train to Basra and Other Stories:
 Full Tour Schedule

10/08/2013, Tue
Allendale, MI
     Cook-DeWitt Center at Grand Valley State University
 1110 Kirkhof Center

10/09/2013, Wed
Chicago, IL
     Maurer Hall - Old Town School of Folk Music
 4544 N Lincoln Ave
 Show: 8:30 pm
•Free Admission Ph:  (773)728-6000

10/12/2013, Sat
Bloomington, IN
     The Players Pub
 424 S Walnut St
 Show: 8:30 pm
•Ph:  (812) 334-2080

10/25/2013, Fri
Washington, DC
     Busboys and Poets
 2021 14th St NW
•Ph:  (202) 387-7638

 10/26/2013, Sat
New York, NY
     Alwan For The Arts
 16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
 Tix: $$15/$20, Show: 8:00 pm
•Ph:  (646) 732 3261  Admission Discount for Students, Members, Seniors

 10/28/2013, Mon
Boston, MA
     The Lily Pad
 1353 Cambridge St.

Salaam - Train to Basra

Monday, September 16, 2013

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