Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan is great at combining Oriental music with Western influences. As a member of bands Soapkills, Y.A.S. as well as thanks to her solo career she is considered an icon of underground music across the Arab world. She collaborated with CocoRosie, Mirwais (Y.A.S.) and after her excellent debut Ya Nass, she released a follow up album last year named Al Jamilat which BBC included in their “BBC Culture’s Best Albums of 2017” list. At the beginning of July, she is coming to present it to Pohoda 2018 visitors.
The first time we saw Yasmine Hamdan was in 2004 when she played with her project Soapkills at Womex. Together with Potkan, host at Hudba sveta_FM (World Music_FM) program, we were standing in the front row, completely mesmerized by amazing music and since then, we’ve been trying to have Yasmine play in Slovakia. Last year, we were standing, similarly excited, at her show at Reeperbahn with half of Pohoda team. This is the kind of gig you need to experience from the beginning till the end: you gradually dive deeper and deeper. From the dramaturgical point of view, the show is set up perfectly: it flows from more delicate material to grand fierce ending, which leaves you wondering how many forms this amazing artist can show.
Yasmine Hamdan started her career in trip-hop band Soapkills she founded with Zeid Hamdan. After the band broke up, she teamed up with Mirwais (known for his collaboration with Madonna) with whom she recorded album Arabology (2009) under the Y.A.S. moniker. With Marc Collin (of Nouvelle Vague) she worked on her solo debut Ya Nass, where she merged oriental musical tradition with folk and electronica. In 2013, she contributed (as a singer and actress) to film Only Lovers Left Alive. On her latest album Al Jamilat, she collaborated with renowned producers such as Luke Smith (Foals, Depeche Mode, Lily Allen) and Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Carl Barât) and recorded it with Shahzad Ismaily (Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed) and a Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. Beirut-born and Paris-based artist travelled to locations including London as well as New York to record this album. On the album, she unfolds her abilities to discover and fuse influences from different cultures (Yasmine has lived in six countries). According to BBC, the album “sounds both worldly and beautifully intimate.” Lebanese melodies and singing elegantly intertwined with interesting electronic arrangements will take visitors of the 22nd edition of Pohoda to various corners of the world.