47Soul Balfron Promise Launch: Blasting and dancing their way through the Arabic music scene, the four members of the 47Soul have electrically reshaped the boundaries of contemporary underground music. Their infectious take on dabke, with piercing synthesisers, ‘Mijwez’ melodies, dance drums and resonating vocals has rapidly amassed them fans around the world. The product of a three year residency in London, the 'Balfron Promise' is their first full-length album and an elaboration on the highly successful debut EP the 'Sham Step'.
47Soul + Cairo Liberation Front: Happening as a segment in the six-day 'Convergence Festival', this exhilarating bill will bring 47Soul and the Cairo Liberation Front in the determined spirit of the Arab Spring, as they both lead the way in producing new sounds drawing on diverse Arabic influences.
'Encampment by Good Chance': Part of the 'Festival of Love' at the Southbank Centre, 'Encampment by Good Chance' is a wonderful programme of art, discussion and hope for the future, inspired by the temporary theatre of hope that was set up at the Calais 'Jungle' refugee camp; providing a space of welcome and expression and housing a daily programme of theatre, art, music, discussion and workshops, with special guests and performances.
47 Soul 'The Gathering': Drawing on their Palestinian roots, 47Soul make music that crosses borders and that is a celebration of movement featuring the bass-heavy dance sounds, virtousic instrumentalism and vocal improvisation and rap.
47Soul at London Remixed Festival: 47Soul is the electro-mijwez, shamstep and choubi band with its members rooted in Bilad Al-Sham.
If I had the resources, I imagine that I would give out real gold medals for the entries below. I've picked either one or two at the maximum - as I honestly couldn't decide! - based on what I attended, truly enjoyed and what made me feel engaged or challenged as a viewer, reader, attendee, listener, etc.
Without further ado, Nahla Ink's 2015 Arab-London Arts + Culture Gongs Go To:
WOMAD Festival 2015: The 'World of Music, Arts and Dance' (WOMAD) is an international arts festival that takes place in Charlton Park, Wiltshire with the central aim to celebrate the world's many forms of music, arts and dance over three days. Apart from experiencing the hottest musicians and inspiring new talent from around the world there is always much more to discover.
47Soul Debut Record Launch: The fabulous 47Soul will be performing at the Jazz Cafe to launch their debut album. Rooted in traditional Arabic Dabke - the celebration dance music from Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Jordan - 47Soul hype it up with analog synthesizers, drum machines, epic guitar lines, and tripped-out English and Arabic verses. The electronic and urban influence in their music takes them far out of the ‘world music’ context and places them in the genre of a new generation of international electronic/hip hop acts that are reinventing the old for the future.
If you haven’t already been exposed to the young energetic 47Soul musical formation, then be prepared for incredible marvel and surprise if you listen on Youtube or Soundcloud. Better yet, make sure to attend them in concert as they are currently taking the London underground music scene by storm - as well as having amassed thousands of fans throughout the Middle East and Europe - for the past two years and still going strong.
Tamer Abu Ghazaleh + 47Soul (Music): A restless and inventive performer and promoter of a wide range of music and artistic activity, Tamer Abu Ghazaleh is a leading figure in modern Arabic culture. The Palestinian singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer has over the past few years collaborated in many music projects, released a debut album and founded eka3 (2007), a regional platform dedicated to promoting, producing, distributing, and touring independent Arabic music.