S H I R A N returns with her most definitive album to date. ‘Fadaytak’ is a thunderstorm of beautiful Yemini songcraft, Arabic pop and bass heavy hip hop, afrobeats, 808s and electro.
S H I R A N earned acclaim far and wide for her last and second album on Batov Records, breathing fresh air into traditional Yemini songs, with a contemporary, acoustic approach. Earning a five-star, “Top of the World” review from Songlines Magazine, it was championed across BBC 6 Music by the likes of Gilles Peterson and Tom Robinson.
On ‘Fadaytak’, S H I R A N and production partner Ron Bakal return to what they do best and take it to the next level, marrying beautiful Middle Eastern melodies, strings and instrumentation to the heaviest club friendly beats, all with the greatest attention to detail. “Electro Hafla” they like to call it, referring to the large “hafla” get-togethers full of music and dancing, common at family gatherings and religious ceremonies.
Highlights include the Middle Eastern R&B pop banger “Fadaytak”. A hit across the Arab world upon its release last year, its life in the clubs was extended even further by remixes from Doriann and AfterMidnight.
Forthcoming single, “Habibi Inta” exhibits a minimal approach to the beats, a half time R&B beat complimented by subtle 808 trap triplets and the gentle plucking of a viola. The perfect imaginary soundtrack to a romantic encounter in the Saharan desert.
On “La La”, the Levantine dabke folk music characterised by oud (a Middle Eastern, lute-like instrument), tablah drums and mijwiz reeds, usually stamped to by dancers at family or community events, is mixed with Arabic pop and an abundance of synths and beats. Omar Souleyman meets ‘808 & Heartbreaks’, a perfect example of “Electro Hafla”.
On “Ya Ruhi”, S H I R A N and Bakai dip into the contemporary sounds of afrobeats and drill, adding a subtle twist of autotune to the infectious melody. An added touch, Moroccan-born MC, Marc Kakon, provides a vocal counterweight with his machine-gun rap delivery.
‘Fadaytak’ sets a new bar for Middle Eastern pop. S H I R A N’s confident, empowering love songs challenge the status quo, whilst absorbing a rich musical heritage, reinterpreted in an entirely modern language that points clearly to the future.