Yasmine Hamdan in London – Al Jamilat Album Launch
Monday 15th May
Doors open – 19:30
Scala – 275 Pentonville Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9N
With her debut solo album Ya Nass (2013), Yasmine Hamdan introduced her personal, modern take on Arabic pop.
In Al Jamilat (‘The Beautiful Ones’), she pursues her musical exploration, while taking a look at the mutations at work within the Arab world.
While Yasmine’s vocals are definitely connected to traditions of Arabic music (to which she takes an unconventional and fresh approach), the structures and arrangements of the songs are very remote from its codes, and take in elements from contemporary Western electronic, pop and folk music.
Her unique vision is fully realised in this new album, which she jointly produced with UK producers Luke Smith (Foals, Depeche Mode, Lily Allen) and Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Carl Barât), and recorded with contributions from NY musicians Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, John Zorn, Marc Ribot) and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley.
Yasmine is a wanderer, she’s lived in half a dozen countries and has been immersed in as many cultures. The making of this album couldn’t therefore be anything else but a voyage, during which she collected and merged sounds & ideas, interacting along the way with a variety of people, nurturing her reflections and enriching the sociopolitical awareness which always runs through her lyrics.
The release of the Ya Nass album has been getting tremendous attention in Europe and America, as well as in North Africa and the Middle East (where Yasmine Hamdan has enjoyed iconic stature since the days of Soapkills, the duet she had founded in her native Beirut, which was one of the first indie/electronic bands in the Middle East).
More on Yasmine Hamdan
Hailed as ‘Arabic music’s modern voice’ (New York Times), Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan first emerged onto the music scene with Soapkills, the pioneering indie electronic band she founded along with Zeid Hamdan in Beirut in the late ’90s. The band gradually acquired an emblematic status and, to this day, Yasmine is considered an underground icon throughout the Arab world.
Later moving to Paris, Yasmine teamed up with Madonna’s producer Mirwais, and under the Y.A.S. moniker, recorded the album Arabology, released in 2009 by Universal France. In 2012, Yasmine joined forces with Nouvelle Vague’s Marc Collin to produce her debut solo album, Ya Nass, released by Crammed Discs in Europe in 2013 and in Japan and the USA in early 2014. One of the album’s tracks, ‘Hal’ was featured in Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive and was a contender for the 2014 Oscar Award for Best Original Song.