6 artists to follow if you are learning Arabic
Learning Arabic and need to inject a little fun into your studies? Why not find yourself some new music to listen to? With Spotify, Youtube, and lots of other apps and sites bringing you music from all over the world, there really is no excuse! So who are some of the best artists to follow if you are learning Arabic?
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Cairokee are a rock band from Cairo in Egypt, who have been on the music scene since 2003 — one of our more established artists singing in Arabic! Their music served as part of the soundtrack to the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, with many protest songs such as Ya El Midan released after the uprising. Cairokee have continued to be a voice during times of political unrest, performing onstage during the 2013 protests as well! Cairokee have six studio albums, two compilation albums, and one mix album, so you have plenty of material to practice Arabic with. If you want to see if this band is for you then give the single Ethbat Makanak a listen.
Autostrad is a Jordanian indie band from Amman who formed in 2007. The line up of the band has changed quite a bit over the years, so if you start following them you might have a few names and faces to remember! Although Autostrad describe themselves as indie, their influences are from rock, reggae, Latin, and funk. They write and sing in the Jordanian dialect so bear that in mind depending on what form of Arabic you are studying. They are popular because many of their songs reflect daily life in Jordan. Autostrad have three studio albums of their own along with countless collaborations and contributions with other artists. Here is their song Istana Shwai to give you a taste of their sound.
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Mashrou’ Leila are a band from Beirut in Lebanon who have been with us since 2008. They formed at the American University of Beirut, cultivating an indie rock sound that uses satire to talk about the Lebanese society. They have stirred controversy by singing about subjects such as politics, religion, and homosexuality, so you have a range of subjects to pick up some vocabulary on. Mashrou’ Leila have nine studio albums and countless other singles and contributions to albums meaning you can, if you like their music, have a lot of ‘realia’ to work through for weeks to come! Want to know what they sound like? Here is their song Fasateen to give you a sample.
47Soul is a Palestinian Jordanian band that focuses on electronic music that formed back in 2013. Their music talks a lot about the situation in Palestine yet also has some western influence since at least the second studio album was written in East London. They only have two studio albums but that is still more than enough for you to practice your Arabic with! Here is their song Gamar so you can get a sense of their style.
Elissa is an artist from Deir el Ahmar, Lebanon, who has been on the music scene since 1992. She started her career by winning the Studio El Fan music competition in Lebanon, and has gone on to produce 11 studio albums. She also has a large range of non-album singles so you are spoilt for choice for songs to listen to! Her style of music is Arabic pop, romance, and the world, so if those are your genres then definitely give Elissa a listen! Here is her single Krahni so you can hear for yourself if her music is for you.
Photo via Wikimedia
Haifa Wehbe is another artist from Lebanon. Born in Mahrouna, she has been creating music since around 2002. She sings Arabic pop and world music, and has seven studio albums for you to work your way through. She is also an actress, so if you like what you hear and want to follow Haifa Wehbe’s career, get yourself on Twitter! Here is her single Touta so you can hear her style.
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