Pre-marital sex in the Middle East? The Arab musical rebellion thinks so
While the Arab world is used to being rocked by car-bombs and mortar shells, it is less accustomed to rockers of the musical variety - punkers and metal-heads - who like to shake things up with their lefty lyrics and alternative attitudes. Sectarian clashes and rage against the regime might be par for the course, but rock bands with a cause to croon about present quite the challenge.
Changing their tune
From deeper underground, a new wave of bands with a battle to wage are breaking the surface and not afraid to sing something different. Agitators or anarchists they might not be, but these bad-boys are challenging both the region's classic tastes and politics, as they rave about 'loony' liberal ideals that might be too offbeat for the more conservative or sheltered sound tracks of the region.
When it comes to the music scene of Arabia, we're more familiar with the staple of Haifa Wehbes and Nancy Ajrams, serenading fans with 'habiby' (darling, honey) hits. Pop songs to ballads, they're all love and longing, and any lust is quite tame when you come down to it. Now, the region is having to swallow the bitter pill of a new crop of singers -- from brave new bands to female front-'men' and revolutionary rappers - who have powerful messages to deliver to accompany their new sound. The Arab world is seeing a new breed of music that is something a little different to the run of the mill Elissa pop or George Wassouf anthems.
And the band played on
Daring to sing of sex before marriage or homosexuality and all manner of social freedoms, these firebrands look here to stay, and some are already going down a treat with a receptive youthful and post-Arab uprising audience that gives them air and stage time. But, they might not be received with open arms by a region - while open to political shifts - still wary of social change and the influence lurking in the lyrics of these avant-garde artistes. With our fingers on the pulse, Al Bawaba brings you a batch of some of the newcomers and their beats.
Share your thoughts and musical tastes-- are you a fan of any of the bands listed? Is Mashrou' Leila your cup of tea?