THE ROUNDUP: Regional pop-culture highlights for January

THE ROUNDUP: Regional pop-culture highlights for January
Gurumiran. (Supplied)
Updated 28 January 2019

THE ROUNDUP: Regional pop-culture highlights for January

THE ROUNDUP: Regional pop-culture highlights for January

Dubai: The regions pop culture highlights for the month of January 2019.

“Bathe You (Live)”
Gurumiran
Filmed live at The Juke studios in Kuwait, this video captures Lebanese singer-songwriter and guitar virtuoso Miran Gurunian (aka Gurumiran) at his energetic best. There’s a newfound power and confidence to his idiosyncratic vocals that — coupled with his sparse but striking guitar lines over synth arpeggios — make this twisted love song a repeater.

“Time, Money”
BLUFRANK + Lav
The stuttering video cobbled together from an old documentary about Egypt by Noha Amin goes brilliantly with the stuttering experimental art-pop of this Egyptian group led by Ragy Ahmed, whose vocals, here, are pushed through a speech synthesizer. The effect of this collaboration with Lav (Egyptian artist Hannah El-Manawhly) is unsettling and dreamlike. And intriguing.

“Carte Blanche”
Karkhana with Nadah El-Shazly
Side B of the latest album from Unrock’s “Saraswati” series features Egyptian vocalist El-Shazly collaborating with an improv-based Middle Eastern/Mediterranean ensemble of acclaimed musicians including Maurice Louca and Sam Shalabi. The astonishing and unique soundscape that results is, the label suggests, “Far Eastern post-industrial.”

 


Global pop group Now United shoots new music video in Abu Dhabi

Nour Ardakani (right), a 19-year-old singer from Lebanon, became the band’s 16th and first Arab member. Instagram
Nour Ardakani (right), a 19-year-old singer from Lebanon, became the band’s 16th and first Arab member. Instagram
Updated 16 January 2021

Global pop group Now United shoots new music video in Abu Dhabi

Nour Ardakani (right), a 19-year-old singer from Lebanon, became the band’s 16th and first Arab member. Instagram

DUBAI: Global pop group Now United has filmed its music video for “Lean on Me” at Abu Dhabi’s five-star Emirates Palace hotel.

The video starts with a sweeping view of the hotel, before showing band members performing choreographed dance moves in its plush corridors and outside terrace.

The band, made up of 16 members from as many countries, has spent the past few months in the UAE, following the search to find its newest member from the Middle East.

Nour Ardakani, a 19-year-old singer from Lebanon, became the band’s 16th — and first Arab — member.

She was handpicked by Simon Fuller, who founded The Spice Girls and created the “American Idol” TV show.

Since Ardakani’s arrival, the group has been busy recording new music and shooting videos in various locations around the UAE.

The video for its track “Habibi,” released in November to officially welcome Ardakani into the band, was shot partly in Dubai’s historic Al-Fahidi district, and in her native Lebanon.

This is not the first time that an artist or group has turned to the Arab world for inspiring cityscapes.

Cardi B’s breakout single as a rapper, “Bodak Yellow,” was filmed in the UAE. The video, set in Dubai, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for three consecutive weeks, and received nominations for best rap performance and best rap song at the Grammys.

In 2018, US-Moroccan rapper French Montana went back to his roots for his “Famous” music video, shot in the Moroccan city of Chefchaouen, where he grew up.

British recording artist M.I.A also shot her 2012 music video for “Bad Girls” in Morocco. The video, filmed in the city of Ouarzazate, won the VMA for best cinematography and best direction, and was nominated for a Grammy.