Egypt's Maryam Saleh and Sweden's Crash Nomada release new single

Ahram Online , Monday 19 Jun 2017

The new song 'Leih Ya Hamam' is a reinterpretation of a traditional Sufi tune

Leih Ya Hamam
Leih Ya Hamam (photo: fragment from the single's promotional material)

Egyptian singer Maryam Saleh and Swedish folk punk band Crash Nomada’s joint new single, Leih Ya Hamam (Why, Doves) was released on Friday 9 June, via Arab independent label Mostakell. A music video, filmed and directed by Attila Urban, was released along with the single.

The song is a reinterpretation of the Sufi tune of the same name, which was most famously performed by the late Sheikh Ahmed Barrayn.

Both parties had taken a prior interest in Sufi heritage; Saleh performed ongoing research into lesser-known sufi works, while Crash Nomada’s latest EP drew inspiration from late artist Ivan Angueli -- a Swede and follower of Ibn Arabi, who adopted Sufism and spent time in Egypt going by the name of Sheikh Abd Al-Hadi Aqili.

When the Egyptian singer and Swedish band met in Stockholm in August 2016, they discovered their shared interest in Sufi heritage. In 2017, they recorded Leih Ya Hamam at Helter Skelter Studio, Stockholm.

Singer and songwriter Saleh is among the most prominent figures in the Egyptian underground music scene.

Her first album, Mesh Baghanny (I Don’t Sing), was released in 2012. On her second album, Halawella, which was released in 2015, she collaborated with Lebanese electro-pop musician Zeid Hamdan. Saleh is known for her reinterpretation of Sheikh Imam’s protest songs, to which she brings a touch of modernity with her band BarakA.

The singer has also acted in several films and television series, among them Ibrahim El-Batout’s Eye of the Sun (2008), and Tamer El Said’s In the Last Days of the City (2016).

Founded in 2011, Crash Nomada is a Stockholm-based folk punk band, whose music draws from south-east European folk, North African, Scandinavian, and Arabic music, as well as classic punk rock bands like Levellers, Mano Negra and Gogol Bordello.

The band's lineup consists of Linus Fransson on drums, Tomoko Sukenobu on bass, Sara Edin on violin, Walter Sale on accordion, John Hagenby on electric guitar and Ragnar Bey on vocals and acoustic guitar.

Since its formation, the band has performed in venues and festivals across Europe, including Holland, Germany, the UK, Spain, Italy, Estonia and Sweden.

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