August 5, 2016 - 8:30 pm
Since the release of their fourth studio album, the groundbreaking Ibn El Leil, Mashrou’ Leila are getting the worldwide recognition they deserve thanks to their high energy and dazzling aura.
They will finally be gracing our shores for this summer’s most anticipated concert, six years after their first performance at Byblos Festival.
Lebanese Indie Pop band, Mashrou’Leila, broke onto the local music scene back in 2008. What started out as an “overnight project” which was intended to vent at the stress caused by the instability in Lebanon has, several years later, turned out to be a bigger adventure than what they ever could have imagined.
The band’s forming members Hamed Sinno (Vocals), Haig Papazian (Violin), Carl Gerges (drums), Firas Abou Fakher (Guitar/Synth), Ibrahim Badr (Bass), Omaya Malaeb (Keys) and Andre Chedid (guitar) took Lebanon by storm when they triumphed at a competition in Beirut which earned them a local record deal to launch their first self-titled album Mashrou’ Leila. Following its release concert, the band was given the perfect opportunity to make their mark on the entire country when they performed for the first time for a larger crowd at Byblos Festival in July 2010. From then on, things have only gone upwards.
A couple of years and several tours around the Middle East region later, the band released its second album El Hal Romancy – an album which allowed them to make their first breakthrough into the European market with shows in Holland, France & Switzerland. What once was considered an unlikely task for any Lebanese band had now become a stomping ground they could call home these days. Between 2011 and 2012 the band’s popularity had grown beyond the borders of the Middle East and so had the demand for them to perform live.
In 2013, Mashrou’ Leila launched a crowd-funding campaign entitled #OCCUPYARABPOP claiming their intention to offer an alternative to the monopolized music production and consumption in Arab Pop. Following its success, their third studio album, Raasuk, which was recorded in Montreal (Hotel 2 Tango) had finally been completed and was accompanied by non-stop tours over the years that followed. But it wasn’t without changes in the band as both Andre Chedid (guitar) & Omaya Malaeb (Keys) left the band to pursue other professional ambitions.
During the Raasuk period the band has managed to carve a very particular spot in the Arab Pop industry. With strong collaborations along the way with artists such as Nile Rogers, Hindi Zahra, Erik Truffaz or M (Mathieu Chedid) to name few, the bar had been set very high.
Today, Mashrou’ Leila stands as one of the only Arab Pop bands capable of filling out concerts at reputable and established venues across Europe & the United States. They’re also one of the few bands from the Middle East who have been able to get onto the line-up of the world’s biggest festivals: Exit Festival (Croatia), Pop Montreal Festival (Canada), Paleo Festival (Switzerland), Festival d’Ile de France (France), that’s without mentioning all the sold-out “stadium capacity” shows in Middle Eastern venues from Egypt to Jordan, Tunisia and of course Lebanon.
In November 2015 the band released its 4th studio album Ibn El Leil (The Son of the Night) with a highly unique show designed especially for the Barbican Center of performing arts in London. The concert was broadcasted live on national Television (MTV Lebanon) and reached a huge audience worldwide.
Infused with an electrifying pop spirit, the new album brilliantly reinvents the sound of the band into the sound of contemporary Beirut: dark, reckless, and fiery with young blood. The band has matured, their sound has changed, but the message remains as strong and provocative as it always has been.
Hamed Sinno’s lyrics beautifully mix the rawness of the night with an exquisite sensitivity that evokes a collective experience, almost spiritual at times. The music arranged by Carl Gerges, Firas Abou Fakher and Jeremie Regnier does not fall short of the words and puts into perspective a brand new approach, with images of faded neon lights, pulsing dancing and the reckless self-destruction of Beiruti nights being evoked. Ibn El Leil was written and composed in Beirut and co-produced by Mashrou’Leila and Samy Osta (La Femme, Rover, Feu Chatterton, Juniore…). The album was recorded during the summer of 2015 at «La Frette Studios» in France and mixed by Fred Vectol at «Question de Son» in Paris.
- Mashrou3 Leila (2009)
- El Hal Romancy (2011)
- Raasuk (2013)
- Ibn El Leil (2015)