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robertogreco : maryamsaleh   6

Lekhfa Album [Official Audio] ألبوم الإخفاء - YouTube - YouTube
"Three musicians who came of age in 1990s Cairo, their disparate paths in music intersect a couple of decades later when they’re drawn to each other’s work, and agree to meet at a seaside cabin in Alexandria, followed by residencies in Amman, Cairo, and Beirut to create and record a new album.

Maryam Saleh, Maurice Louca and and Tamer Abu Ghazaleh, names that have turned heads in alternative Arabic music with solo albums and conspicuous collaborations."
music  maryamsaleh  mauricelouca  tamerabughazaleh  mostakellrecords  2017  egypt  cairo 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Maryam Saleh: A Musical Nebula
"Maryam Saleh is a musical soul raised in a musical house in a not so distant musically vibrant Kahira. As a child, Saleh was spoiled by a wide array of musicians coming in and out of her house, igniting a passion for the arts from an early age. “My mother was a singer and had a lot of musical friends who filled our house with beautiful sounds. My choice to sing wasn’t random, it was something I grew up with and knew I would do when I got older,” passionately explains Saleh. Growing up understanding the power music has over shaping thoughts and identity, Saleh ignored the pop singers polluting the mainstream and decided to channel the controversial sound of working class cult hero Sheikh Imam Mohammad Ahmad Eissa. According to Saleh, “When I turned 16 I decided to form a band named Gawaz Safar to cover my favourite Sheikh Imam songs. He was banned from singing and his music wasn’t released on cassettes. My goal was to sing his songs publicly - it almost felt like a political decision, but I wanted to expose friends and music lovers to his inspiring works and put together a tribute concert in his honour.”

Sheikh Imam is arguably one of the first underground folk artists to emerge in Egypt. Blinded at the age of five, this inspirational musical prodigy didn’t let his disability stop him from making music, and sang a message which rung true for the underprivileged in society while enraging the ruling class. Teaming up in 1962 with legendary Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, the duo began composing political songs that were instantly banned from radio and television and resulted in their imprisonment on multiple occasions. Unable to perform in his home country Sheikh Imam built a career in the mid 80’s playing abroad in major musical hubs like France, Britain, as well as across the Middle East. While most Egyptians of the time were listening to budding artists like Amr Diab, Saleh instead researched alternative sounds that dared to challenge the status quo, which is what drew her to Sheikh Imam’s work.

Resurrecting his work, Saleh’s interpretation of the revolutionary icon was well received and gave her the boost of confidence needed to courageously set out to release an album under her own name entitled Ana Mesh Baghany. Talking about her debut album Saleh tells me that “It was the first album I worked on under my own name instead of hiding behind a band or collaboration. All the music in this album was composed by me except for two songs composed by musical director Tamer Abu Ghazaleh. It was an important album for me because it was my introduction to the musical world and documents my development as an artist.” Ana Mesh Baghany was released by Eka3 record label, and was praised as a successful introduction to Saleh’s work with tracks reaching over a 200k+ views YouTube. Furthermore, the album found success in television as tracks were used in the soundtrack of a Ramadan TV series entitled Farah Leila. “I felt somewhat scared when the album had the opportunity to be taken as sound track in a Ramadan TV series. They ended up using most of the songs in the series, which is a lot more exposure than the kind of success that most underground artists get. I was a little bit scared that this would put me in particular frame as an artist and I don’t like to be framed,” admits Saleh.

To avoid being labeled or framed as a singular genre singer, Saleh continues to expand her musical horizons moving from Sheikh Imam inspired Folk into variety of sounds ranging from Hip Hop to Electro Pop. “When I create a song I do a lot of research looking for new sounds and attempting to share a feeling that most people experience. I tend to search for humour in misery, creating lyrics fitting for a dark comedy.”

Looking to build on the success of her debut album, Mostakell records (a label under Eka3 platform) will be supporting her latest release, Halawella, which will explore new musical territories with a different collaborator, influential Lebanese artist Zeid Hamdan. According to Saleh, “I met Zeid when he was touring with a band called Kaza Mada. At the after party in Alexandria, I began singing with some friends, but I believe Zeid had already gone to bed as he usually sleeps early. Overhearing us singing, Zeid returned joining in with a tambourine and afterwards asked me to record songs with him.” The dynamic duo returned to Cairo and recorded three songs and a video in Alex before Zeid returned to Lebanon. Despite being able to record from scratch in a day, the album would take four years before being completed.

A large reason the album has taken years to make, is due to the hectic schedule of both Saleh and Hamdan. Arguably one of the hardest working musicians in Lebanon, Zeid Hamdan always has something coming out, working with over a dozen outfits across the Arab world and supporting each release with a tour. During that same time, Saleh found herself building the reputation as a successful actress, appearing in television and movies. “I have worked on multiple film projects. I was in Ibrahim Batout’s Ain Shams, Osama Fawzi’s Bel2lwan el Tabe3yah, among other shorts. I was also in the Ramadan TV series Farah Leila starring Leila Elwy, which used most of the songs from Ana Mesh Baghany. The latest film project I took part in is the yet to be released; Akher Ayam el Madina directed by Tamer El Saeed. What people don’t know is that I like to assist behind the scenes as a stylist or director’s assistant a lot more than appearing in front of the camera,” confesses Saleh."
2015  maryamsaleh  music  egypt  zeidhamdan  arabic  sheikhimam 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Featuring a Collaboration between Maryam Saleh and Zeid Hamdan Mostakell Releases Halawella
"Mostakell has revealed the release of Halawella, a new album featuring the cooperation between the Egyptian underground singer Maryam Saleh and the Lebanese composer Zeid Hamdan. The new album, under the name of Halawella, will comprise 10 songs; half of which are inspired by the oeuvre of the salient duo Sheikh Imam and Ahmed Fouad Negm. Maryam has been influenced by both artists in some of her earlier songs. The new album will include remixes of these songs by Zeid, in addition to some of Maryam's songs.

Halawella, which will be released on Thursday 17 September, is the fruitful result of Maryam and Zeid's successful tours since 2010 in Cairo, Beirut, and Tunisia, in addition to their international tours in London, Rome, Amsterdam, and others where Zeid Hamdan's remixes are very well-received.

A powerful voice for her generation, Egyptian singer and songwriter Maryam Saleh composes and performs music that is personal, political and philosophical; intense, intelligent Egyptian music with Arabic language and influences of Trip Hop and Psych Rock. In the past year few years, Maryam has played widely across Egypt, the Arab World, and Europe. Since success collaborating with a number of bands and music projects, Maryam has forged a path as a solo artist, recording and performing her own projects and collaborations. Using her muscular, alluring vocals and charismatic stage presence, Maryam brings her inventive contemporary compositions to life. This charisma has been enriched by her participation in many acting roles as well, in Independent and mainstream Egyptian Films and TV Series, including Ein Shams (2006), Akher Ayam El Madina, Bel Alwan El Tabe'eya (2008), Farah Layla Series (2013), among others.

Zeid Hamdan is a well-known Lebanese composer and producer in the alternative music scene since the 90's. He was dubbed "the godfather of Lebanese underground music" due to his continuous support of Lebanese and Arab bands mixing between diverse types of Arab and international music, such as Kazamada, Zeid and the Wings, Katibeh 5, the New Government, and Soap Kills; a band which originally was formed in 1997 and became a pioneering indie band in the Arab world. By collaborating with them, Zeid mixed electronic music with classic Arabic music, in addition to singing along with the band member Yasmine Hamdan, whose stardom was catapulted after joining the band. CNN network selected Zeid Hamdan as one of the 8 most influential figures in Lebanese culture."
2015  maryamsaleh  music  lebanon  egypt  arabic  zeidhamdan 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Maryam Saleh, the youth icon who sings against singing - Music - Arts & Culture - Ahram Online
"Young singer Maryam Saleh, 28, represents a musical movement that raged in the aftermath of the January 25 revolution, one that is often dubbed independent, or underground, music. Saleh, alongside contemporaries of the same music scene, indeed wandered off the traditional realm of musical performance.

Raised artistically by her father, the late playwright Saleh Saad, she started singing and acting at the age of seven. She then trained and worked with a number of theatre and music troupes, most prominent of which were El-Warsha, Tamy, Habayebna, and Baraka, which she founded. She also starred in Ibrahim Battout's film Ein Al-Shams (Eye of the Sun) and played a role in a television series dubbed Farah Laila (Laila's Wedding) with actress Laila Elwy.

Her first album was labelled Ana Mish Baghanni (I Don't Sing) -- an apt explanation of the type of music that she presents, which may be described as actually being opposed to singing.

The style clearly embraces singing out of tune, or rebelling against the manners of traditional Eastern music, and adopting instead a blend of pop and protest music mostly based on poetic texts that are closely related to the current Egyptian moment without being blatantly political.

The lyrics of her songs -- which were written by significant young writers such as Mostafa Ibrahim, Mido Zoheir and Omar Mostafa -- are responsible for the production of this new musical discourse. Born out of the revolution, they are immersed in the details of its ups and downs and attentive to the personal domain -- which had become absent in mainstream songs restricted instead to sensationalised singing and caught in the ridiculously redundant binary of coming together and abandonment.

Furthermore, young audiences react remarkably well to Saleh's stage performances at independent spaces. The phenomenon begs contemplation, since her style and song lyrics are a topic of sarcasm on Facebook pages such as "Asa7be", which nevertheless perpetuates her presence as an icon. She now even features as the star of several street murals in the city.

This interest is perhaps the result of Saleh's primary focus on expression. She prefers the performative ingredient over traditional musical elements, or rather, abandons the latter altogether, as reflected in her songs Ana Mesh Baghanni (I Don't Sing), Watan El-Akk (Homeland of Chaos), which she composed, Eslahat (Reforms) and Robaeyat Shagar El-Tout: Donya w-Kedb (Quartets of Berry Trees: World and Lies). In these songs, she is more of an actress performing a melodrama, revealing a mix of conflicting emotions, performed in a way that disillusions recipients.

In some of her songs, Maryam Saleh reminds us of caricaturist performances, which brings her closer to the monologues that spread through Egyptian music until the 1960s and waned with the departure of its icons, Ismail Yassin and Shokouko -- whose songs she covered, including "Helw El-Helw" (The Beautiful One).

Yet she does not confine herself to social satire, as is typical of this genre, delving instead into the political realm, as evidenced in her songs Watan El-Akk (Homeland of Chaos) and Sor'et El-Ayam (The Speed of Days). She also covers songs by Sheikh Imam -- including "Nixon Baba" and "Valéry Giscard d'Estaing" -- in special repertoires that she fully dedicates to the revolution's composer and principal representative.

Experience gained by working with El-Warsha and Tamy troupes, as well as the Choir Project, has helped fortify her performance with dramatic and satirical images which emphasise her performative character in a way reminiscent of what the late Yehia Haqqi would call "the cartoonish trait in the songs of Sayed Darwish" – a trait skilfully developed by Saleh, as seen in her contemporary adaptations of Imam's songs, and particularly in her modern compositions co-produced with Tamer Abu Ghazala and Zeid Hamdan.

Despite the reservations that permeate Egypt's music scene regarding Maryam Saleh's performance style, her audiences quickly become engaged by it, particularly when she delivers songs that come closer to the repertoire of traditional Egyptian music. With songs such as Emshi ala Remshi (Walk on my Eyelash) and Tool El-Tareeq (All the Way Through), she emerges as a musician who respects musical norms; with others, such as Wahdy (Alone) -- in which a state of existential crisis intermixes with deep wounds -- she delves into uncharted territories and untraditional practices. The song, resembling the wails of anxiety, lays bare personal pain, focusing a spotlight on this singer who creates engaging music out of dissonance."
maryamsaleh  egypt  music  2014  sheikhimam  performance  arabic 
september 2015 by robertogreco
Rebel Girl [Maryam Saleh]
"Egyptian singer Maryam Saleh is a fiery figure in Cairo's underground music scene. Blending Egypt's musical heritage with sounds of the present, Saleh takes inspiration from two enigmatic figures of the city's past: Sheikh Iman and Ahmed Fouad Negm"



“I was bored with the musical options that were available. People were not choosing anything, not even the kind of art they wanted to listen to. Now people are free to choose. It's a big chance for the underground scene to be discovered on a bigger scale and for it to develop a larger fan base”

[See also:
http://www.discordmagazine.com/to-ask-or-not-to-ask-who-is-maryam/
http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/maryam-saleh-rocking-sheikh-imam%E2%80%99s-revolutionary-songs
http://ellsviolet.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/maryam-saleh-and-zeid-hamdan-a-musical-match-made-in-alexandria/
http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/bands-watch-maryam-saleh

“Maryam Saleh: A Musical Nebula”
http://www.cairoscene.com/SceneNoise/Maryam-Saleh-a-Musical-Nebula

And some music:
https://soundcloud.com/maryamsaleh
https://soundcloud.com/zeidhamdan/maryam-saleh-nixon-baba-radio
https://soundcloud.com/robertogreco/sets/one
https://soundcloud.com/search?q=Maryam%20Saleh
https://soundcloud.com/maryamsaleh/hasr-masr-mesh-baghanny

http://www.mar-yam.com/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NsWx3ldwUc

Nixon Baba originally by Sheikh Iman:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bh4fiRgD38s
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheikh_Imam ]

[Update: more articles
http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/33/103916/Arts--Culture/Music/Maryam-Saleh,-the-youth-icon-who-sings-against-sin.aspx
http://www.mad-solutions.com/press/Featuring-a-Collaboration-between-Maryam-Saleh-and-Zeid-Hamdan--Mostakell-Releases-Halawella.php ]
music  maryamsaleh  egypt  sheikhimam  ahmedfouadnegm 
november 2013 by robertogreco

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