Inspired by the likes of Zuhayr Ibn Abhi Salma, the Muallaqat of the 6th Century poets and Abu al-Qassim al-Shabbi, the Tunisian poet of 20th century whose poems were used widely in the posters in Egypt and Tunisia during the 2011 Arab Spring, Algerian singer Souad Massi, hand picks 10 poems to revisit. Her new album El Mutakallinum, reworks these poems into an intriguing set of songs that is legendary in its own right.
While the words speak of an era where expression is as diverse as it is rebellious, Souad’s voice adds a magical note to it that is languid and gently exquisite. And the music inspired by Western ballads, Jazz and Reggae makes the album more accessible to its western audience especially with translations provided both in English and French. Releasing in early May, this album caters to tastes of all kinds.
In an interview with the Middle East Eye, the artist said, “I just wanted to give people the opportunity to discover the beauty of the Arab culture. We are not barbarians or uncivilized people. The Arab-Muslim world has produced great works in science, philosophy, mathematics, medicine and poetry, but it all seems forgotten now…I like to take refuge in these poems because the times we are living now sadden me. The Arab world seems to be delivered to chaos and war, and Europe to racism”.
For more information: Follow her on Facebook to keep up with her upcoming concert and album release details.