New sounds from the Middle East

Die Global Beats der BBC beschäftigen sich in der jüngsten Ausgabe mit Künstlern aus dem Nahen Osten. Eine Mischung aus Musik und Politik – absolut hörenswert.

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Ester Rada is an Israeli, originally from Ethiopia, who shot to prominence in the last two years with a heady mix of soul and Ethio-jazz. She performs one of her favourite songs, Out, which is all about the days when everything just goes wrong.

The band Mashrou‘ Leila from Lebanon is another highly successful new act. The lead singer, who is openly gay, sings a song for Global Beats which pokes fun at the misconception that gay men can somehow lure others who are straight into homosexuality.

The programme also hears from Ajam, a London-based group passionately committed to keeping the traditional popular music of Iran alive and Yousra, a young Egyptian singer-songwriter, enjoying the openness to alternative music that has come to her country since the revolution.

Collaborating in the Middle East can be difficult, as 47Soul can affirm. The band’s members come from Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Syria and it is easier for them to come together to perform in Europe than in their own countries, but this does not deter them. Their celebratory sound is winning fans across borders.

Other featured artists include Egyptian Maurice Louca, an electronic composer who is now working with Middle Eastern musicians, and Amani Yahya, a female rapper from Yemen who is a torchbearer for women’s freedom.