It's music time of the week again! This week, I'm looking at a couple of acts from Syria. The country has been in the news a lot over the months and pretty much everything we hear about it is to do with conflict, terrorism and refugees, so whilst all of those things are serious issues, I thought it would be nice to look at something good about a diverse country rich in culture and history.
So...onto the music!
Started as Anas Maghrebi's a one-man project during the Syrian uprising in 2012. Following the death of Maghrebi's drummer at the start of the Syrian Civil War, Khebez Dawle (Arabic for 'Government Bread') came into being as a indie-rock band in Lebanon in 2013 after the members had fled their home country.
An album was recorded in 2014 and, after selling their instruments in order to pay smugglers to get them across the Mediterranean, it was this album that the band gave out to tourists upon their arrival in Europe. From that point on, they played gigs using borrowed instruments and have since played further concerts all over Europe using instruments paid for by crowdfunding. Their aim is to break down the barriers between Syrian and European people through sharing the stories of refugees.
Their music is a combination of typical rock and traditional Syrian folk music, and their songs are performed in Arabic (though their website is in English, and has a lyrics section where English translations can be found).
Even without understanding the lyrics, I really liked what I heard of this band. I love the way they've combined musical styles.
Couldn't find much in the way of music videos on YouTube (the one above is pretty much the only one; everything else is concert videos) but give them a listen!
Khebez Dawle Official Website
Formed in the 90s, this rock/pop act, whose name means 'all together' feature both female and male vocals, which make for some great harmonies!
Sung in Arabic, some of their songs feature a combination of traditional rock/pop and traditional folk sounds. I really like finding artists who use sounds in their music that are native to their culture as it makes for some interesting music!
Some of their songs seeem to have quite an upbeat atmosphere to them, whilst others are more balladic.
Their music was interesting to listen to, and the video I found was fun to watch!
I can't seem to find any current information on this act, so I'm not sure if they're still active or not.
Check them out for Arab-Western rock fusion and nice vocal harmonies.
Kulna Sawa on Facebook
That's my two acts for this week's new-to-me listening. I can't believe there are only 10 weeks left of the year. That's 20 new-to-me acts I have to whittle down from a list of over 200...