omar souleyman is the world's greatest wedding singer
Take an exclusive first look then dive into a mixtape of essential Syrian music made by the big man himself.
On March 29th 2017, Omar Souleyman's first son, Maher, was married in Turkey. The Syria born musician moved across the border from his native Syria to Turkey six years ago, family in tow, to escape the war. You might have seen Omar in full traditional dress performing at your favourite festival, could have (should have) heard his work with Four Tet and his incredible remix of Bjork's Crystalline, and maybe even know him for his performance at the Nobel Peace Prize concert a couple of years back. But were you aware that back home he was the all-time greatest wedding singer?
With over 500 live albums, Omar was the most in demand performer, guaranteed to soundtrack your happy day to perfection. You won't be surprised to hear then, that in what would typically be an embarrassing dad move, he ushered in the happy days at his son's wedding with his signature drum-heavy music laced, as ever, with mad keyboard melodies and a new techno feel. Directed and shot by his manager Mina Tosti, the occasion has been immortalised in his new music video for Ya Bnayya. Taken from his third LP, To Syria, With Love (released last week on Diplo's Mad Decent label) the track is the shiny wedding topper on a delicious wedding cake of a record.
You're very much invited to the wedding. And while the mood is casual, I hope you dressed up and came prepared to dance, because you're going to be surrounded by some very strong looks and dancing is the only natural response to Omar Souleyman's music. Shout out to whoever made the editing decisions and settled on the lime green karaoke lyrics and those pixelated dancing birds. Because he's lovely like that, Omar has also put together a playlist of essential listening for those who want a brief education in modern Syrian music. Enjoy!
Text Frankie Dunn