As a child, I loved listening to Arabic music, and I loved dancing to it even more as an adult. One of my favorite parts of any Middle Eastern party, club night or wedding was the Dabke Dancing. Dabke is a sort of circle dance and line dance combination, with that unique Arabic flair. So when I discovered a band from the Middle East that has infused modern, western style music day music with traditional Dabke, I was all in. That band is 47SOUL.
*photo by Victor Frankowski
Formed in 2013, 47SOUL is an Electro Arabic Dabke (Shamstep) band from Amman, Jordan. Band members Z the People (vocals & synths) El Far3i (darouka, Mc/Vocals) Walaa Sbeit (percussion, Mc/vocals) and El Jehaz (guitar & vocals) are of Palestinian descent, rooted in Bilad Al-Sham and spanning the divides from Amman to the Galilee to Ramallah and the rest of the Palestinian Diaspora. The band’s unique musical style has reached fans from all over the world, including the Middle East, Europe, and North America.
47Soul’s appeal comes from their ability to layer analog synthesizers, hypnotic guitar lines, group vocals, and melodic verses from the bands’ singers with the traditional and ancient Arabic beats heard throughout the region for centuries. Every show is a raucous dance party with that warm beautiful Arabic heart and soul. Mixing Arabic and English in their lyricism, 47Soul makes their music that much more accessible, as well as their powerful messages of freedom and equality, inside Bilad Al Sham and throughout the world.
Check out their video for “Intro to the Shamstep” (and check out that nearly 9 MILLION view count!)
In an age where being Arab is tantamount to a crime, at least in our part of the world, it’s a beautiful thing for me to see an amazing group of Arabs showing the world our creativity and artistry in a positive and beautiful way. I love these guys for that alone, and you really should to.
If 47Soul’s sound is something you’re into, and you’d be crazy if it wasn’t, then be sure to check them out while they’re on tour. Dates below, and keep up with the boys on their social media and through their website.
3/8 – Arab American National Museum – Detroit, MI
3/9 – Adelaide Hall – Toronto
3/10 – Le Ministère – Salle Mcauslan, Montreal
3/13 & 3/14 – SXSW 2019 – Austin, TX (exact dates TBA)