THE ROUNDUP – Regional pop-culture highlights

On April 26, the French-Tunisian artist created a digital collage using a Zoom call featuring 49 people from across the world. (Supplied)
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Updated 08 May 2020

THE ROUNDUP – Regional pop-culture highlights

El Seed 

‘Art is the Shortest Path’

On April 26, the French-Tunisian artist created a digital collage using a Zoom call featuring 49 people from across the world (including US musician Aloe Blacc, who performed during the call). El Seed sent each participant a part of the artwork to set as their background, then rearranged the pieces on his screen — adding callers as they joined — to create the final piece, based on a quote from André Malraux: “Art is the shortest path from one human being to another human being.” Prints of the artwork are now for sale, with the profits being shared between hospitals in France and Tunisia. 

Ghoula 

‘Bambara’

This is the first single from the Tunisian artist’s upcoming album “Demi Écrémé.” The track is based around a sample of vocals by Abdel Majid Mihoub, a master of traditional Tunisian ‘stambeli’ music — also used as a trance-healing method. Ghoula combines traditional instruments with electronic sounds to create a haunting earworm, which is accompanied by a fantastic animated video directed by Bert Vercruysse.  

Vandalye 

‘Little Piggy’

Dubai-based trio Vandalye released their new single, “Little Piggy,” (influenced by George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”) late April. It’s something of a departure from the guitar-led indie-folk sound that first gained the young band attention, with a focus on synths at the start, before a heavy climax dominated by distorted guitars. In a press release, band member Thomas McCone explained that the band had recently got out of a contract “which, over time, restricted us,” adding, “This time we really did something which we wanted.”

Alyssa Amber

‘Strangers’

This 15-year-old Dubai-based singer-songwriter just released her debut single, a catchy pop song. According to the press release, the track “conveys a hypothetical heartfelt emotional turmoil” and contains hints of “trap, soul, RnB and pop.” The standout feature, though, is Amber’s impressive vocal ability. 


Moroccan actor Youssef Kerkour receives BAFTA nomination

Youssef Kerkour is nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance for his role as Sami Ibrahim in the comedy series “Home.” (Instagram)
Updated 04 June 2020

Moroccan actor Youssef Kerkour receives BAFTA nomination

DUBAI: Moroccan actor Youssef Kerkour has landed a nomination for the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), the academy announced on Thursday, after the awards were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The actor, who grew up in Rabat, is nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance for his role as Sami Ibrahim in the comedy series “Home.”

Kerkour, who is also known for roles in “Dracula,” “Redemption,” “Criminal” and “Marcella,” took to Twitter to thank his supporters. 

“Thank you all for your lovely messages this morning. It is a tremendous honor to be nominated in such stellar company,” the 41-year-old actor said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

La famille MAISON @channel4 #home #season2

A post shared by Youssef Kerkour (@youssefkerkour) on

The series, created by British writer and actor Rufus Jones, follows a middle-class London family who find a Syrian asylum seeker named Sami (Kerkour) hiding in their luggage while returning from holiday in France.

Kerkour’s tweet also paid tribute to Jones. 

“I must however say that there is a name missing IMO (in my opinion). That name is Rufus Jones. His writing will give you nominations,” he wrote.