Picture six traveling musicians, each from a different cultural and musical background, coming together to form one musical project, then try your best to describe their music. Maybe their name can give you a little hint: “Out Of Nations”.
Formed by Egyptian-Mexican-American (an out of nations on her own!) artist Lety El Naggar during her travels between NYC, Cairo & Berlin, Out Of Nations take a fresh spin on the term “World Music”, crossing not only musical stereotypes, but also borders, passports, and cultures to form one unique musical project.
When El Naggar wanted to pay tribute to the rural folk life in the Egyptian countryside, she collaborated with Lebanese producer Khalil Chahine to re-arrange a traditional song as old as Egypt’s modern history can remember.
Joined by some of Cairo’s best underground musicians, and none other than folkloric veteran vocalist Dina EL Wedidi, along came “Sellem”: an eclectic modern take on an Egyptian classic and the debut single of the collective’s first album to be released later this year.
“Sellem Alay” (سلّم علي’) – literally “Said Hi to Me” – opens with a nostalgic aria of Medhat’s violins, depicting Lety’s hometown of Dirshabah, before a full set of Arabic percussions along with the groovy bassline kick in to breed the infamous balady beat paralleled with a full brass section grandeur.
Wadidi’s vocals join to nourish the folkloric feel of the tune and grant it an authentic sensation. Distinct solos from Hazem Shaheen’s Oud and Badry’s Nay also add up to the celebratory aura of this striking synchronous tune.
With such a gigantic debut, we can’t wait to hear what else Out Of Nations has to offer with the upcoming release of their debut. Watch this space for a full feature!