Omar Souleyman / Syria
Omar Souleyman’s work is one of the most unusual phenomena of recent years, on an international scale, on the world music scene. It is music that leaves no one indifferent, seducing with direct references to local Syrian tradition, as well as electronic, hypnotic trance.
His work, which belongs to the dabke genre, is both an intriguing creative experiment and a pretext for having some fun with dance. Based on the sound of keyboard instruments (the fast, trance, Oriental motifs are played on them) and electronic rhythms from drum machines, it is, as someone said, the music of the future looking back on the past; a phenomenon appreciated in many countries of the world.
Hasan Alo, an arranger who plays keyboards, works with the frontman and vocalist. It is thanks to his presence that Souleyman’s last album, very well received last year, To Syria, With Love, contains more explicit references to the techno trend than before.
Omar Souleyman has worked with artists such as Björk and Four Tet, among others. He started his career as a wedding performer, releasing nearly 500 live albums before civil war broke out in his native Syria in 2011. The artist emigrated to Turkey, and in 2013, he released his first studio album, Wenu Wenu. Two years later, another album, Bahdeni Nami, was released.
The artist has performed at many of the most important western festivals, including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Paris and Roskilde. Since its inception in 2013, Soukleyman has been a representative of the charity Our Heart Aches for Syria, which works with Médecins Sans Frontières. In the same year, the artist also performed in Norway during the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Omar Souleyman – vocals
Hasan Alo – keyboard instruments
The concert took place in 2018.