Omar Souleyman is a Syrian wedding singer turned “electronic” artist. He has a fabled success story of performing at weddings, creating a unique soundtrack for each affair, which lived on as glorified mixtapes that got passed on and passed on and passed on until Souleyman became the cult success that he is now.
His last album was 2013’s breakthrough Wenu Wenu which felt like a retro futuristic soundtrack to that one scene before Indiana Jones almost dies eating dates in the desert. This Summer Souleyman has a new album coming out and, somehow, RA got the elusive artist to perform for them. Like, he came to their offices and did a live set of a new song.
The song is “Bahdeni Nami” and, yes, it sounds just like his old songs and every other song he has produced—but it is absolutely hypnotic. It’s the title track of the new record and the video is does him great justice of showing off the craft that goes into making his sound and what a truly unique performer he is: it’s like watching a drugged, snapping grandpa do karaoke while vacationing in Aleppo.