A newly released video of famous Tunisian opera singer Lutfi Boshnaq’s latest work has elicited strong reactions on social media and confused the star’s longtime fans. Why? Boshnaq has lent his voice to a musical project that combines Quranic recitations (Nasheeds) with metal music.
The video released earlier this week shows Boshnaq, an award winning and classically trained oud player and singer, wearing dark robes and appearing in front of a guitarist and bass player in similar hard rock garb. When the electric guitar and bass get a metal riff going, the last thing one might expect is for an Islamic nasheed to weave its way into the rhythm.
But that’s exactly what happens in Boshnaq’s new project, titled “Rouhaniat” (Spiritualities). Though Boshnaq hasn’t commented much in the wake of the video's release, many have taken to social media websites to express their support, anger, or confusion.
Even some of Boshnaq’s colleagues have weighed in on the debate. Speaking to Huffington Post Arabic, Hatem al-Farsheshi, a Tunisian artist considered to be among Tunisia’s best Islamic musicians, had little positive to say: “Personally, I’ve seen the video my friend, colleague, and fellow artist recently released. I was shocked by all this noise – nasheeds do not mix well with loud hard rock music.”
You can make your own decision after watching the Boshnaq's video below: