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Albums Of The Week: Omar Souleyman | Erbil

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:Erbil, the fifth studio album from international dabke singer par excellence Omar Souleyman, pays homage to the city in Iraq that offered him solace and embraced during recent uneasy times.

The move to Erbil came rich with new experiences and friendships best celebrated in joyous songs dedicated to a new chapter of life. Erbil‘s eight tracks see the Syrian wedding singer-turned-global electronic music icon reteaming with his longtime keyboard player Hasan Jamo alo for an ever-ambitious and forward-thinking techno-meets-Dabke sound.

Beyond his move to Erbil, the past several years have seen Souleyman receive a GQ Middle East Man Of The Year award in 2022, stage massive live performances in Saudi Arabia, United Emirates and the wider Middle East, and return to the U.S. after a six-year break, with performances in L.A. and N.Y.C., all while touring throughout Europe and the rest of the world.

Souleyman, who has collaborated with Björk and Four Tet, began his career as a prolific wedding singer, releasing nearly 500 live albums before civil war broke out in his native Syria in 2011. He then moved to Turkey and in 2013 released his Four Tet-produced, internationally acclaimed debut studio album Wenu Wenu. His 2015 sophomore set Bahdeni Nami (helmed by various producers including Four Tet, Gilles Peterson and Modeselektor) garnered widespread critical praise, as did 2017’s To Syria, With Love and 2019’s Shlon, placing Souleyman firmly in the canon of global electronic music.

Since then, he has bolstered his growing status as a world and electronic music icon establishing an extensive international following after touring widely and performing at festivals including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Paris, Roskilde and even the Winnipeg Folk Festival. In 2013, he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.”