wed 11/12/2019

Omar Souleyman, New World Music Sensation? | reviews, news & interviews

Omar Souleyman, New World Music Sensation?

Omar Souleyman, New World Music Sensation?

Synth-driven Arab love poetry from Syria - an incredible sound

Omar Souleyman: New Sensation?

The world music scene is hungry for new sensations - and Omar Souleyman, about to hit London and the Shambhala Festival, well deserves to be one of them. In the early 1980s the hunger for the exotic focused on anything that came from the parallel universes untouched by the pressures of commercialisation: polyphonic pygmy singing from Central Africa, ecstatic Sufi soul doctors from Pakistan, drone-drenched bagpipe players from Bulgaria or heart-invading praise singers from Mali. Souleyman is the singer in a small band that plays dabke music at weddings in Syria.

While purists may blanch at the rougher-than-rough street sounds, this boundary-breaking wedding music is a genuine product of 21st-century hybridisation

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters