When we say Palestinians can do anything, it's not an overstatement. It's not an exaggeration. Palestinians are among the best medical professionals, scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, and of course, musicians!
Music is integral to human life, it breaks down language barriers, physical obstacles and crosses cultural divides. Palestinians happen to be incredibly talented at doing this and I wanted to make sure you all knew it. To celebrate International Musician's Day, I've put together a list of 10 Palestinian musicians who you will want to add to your playlists and click that repeat button for. This is just a small sampling of the world of Palestinian music to get you started. It is important to note that the list is in no particular order. Happy listening! 🙂
Anees - @aneestherapper
Anees is an independent singer-rapper from the Washington D.C. area. His music is a fusion of freestyle melodies, crafty rhyme-scheming and conscious lyricism. He is often compared to artists such as Mac Miller, Russ, Chance the Rapper and Tai Verdes. His latest single What Lovers Do was released in October 2021.
Elyanna - @elyanna
Elyanna is a 19-year-old Palestinian-Chilean singer born in Nazareth and currently residing in Los Angeles. Combining her alluring vocals with pop melodies and the Arabic language, Elyanna creates an intoxicating blend unlike any other. With recent attention by Vogue and GQ Middle East, her rise to the mainstream is sure to continue. Her debut EP Elyanna was released in 2020.
Zach Matari - @zachmatari
Zach Matari is an independent artist with Palestinian/Brasilian/American roots who has shared U.S. stages with Ellie Goulding, 47 Soul, Fetty Wap, Fifth Harmony, Sabrina Carpenter, Mario and Ziggy Marley. This 3-time John Lennon Songwriting Contest winner's 2020 single, "Yalla," went viral on TikTok, with over 10 million video views, helping Zach garner a strong international following. His latest song, “Flip It" is featured on playlists worldwide and is projected to be his biggest song yet. Zach aims to inspire the world with his unique sound and profound lyrics.
Dana Salah - @danasalah
Dana Salah, formerly known as King Deco, has successfully embarked on a journey of reclaiming her identity as an Arab-Muslim pop-indie artist. "A lot of my music has to do with the idea of breaking free and growing the courage to go against the grain when you need to," Dana says. Her music is catchy, enticing and engaging even to a non-Arabic listener. Free from her former moniker and embracing her roots, Dana released her latest single Weino in August 2021.
Hanni El Khatib - @hannielkhatib
Hanni El Khatib rides his own wave; a wave carved from the streets of San Francisco by the grind of his skateboard wheels. It's flush with rock & roll, blues, punk and garage, and topped with the burn of his whiskey soaked vocals. Simple yet elaborate sonic creations are his forte, and his versatility is evidenced in his five studio albums. The most recent, Flight was released in 2020.
Neemz - @neemz
NEEMZ is a Boston-based Palestinian multi-creative artist who shows her talents through music, fashion, modelling and creative directing. She is breaking barriers with her underdog mentality and her drive to remove any limits set upon her. Throughout the last few years she's modelled for companies such as Nike and KidSuper, and creative directed her own North American campaign for Converse. This fall, Neemz released her highly anticipated debut EP ‘IT’S ABOVE ME’ with her partners at Empire.
Bashar Murad - @basharmuradofficial
Bashar Murad is a Palestinian singer, lyricist, director and composer born and raised in Jerusalem. Bashar uses pop music and art as a vehicle to challenge stereotypes, normativity and to highlight social issues facing young generations of urban Palestinians. Bashar released his debut EP "Maskhara" in June 2021.
Zeyne - @whoiszeyne
Zeyne is a Jordanian/Palestinian singer, songwriter, and musician. Zeyne’s love for singing was passed down from her grandmother to her mother who, in return, naturally gave it to her. She first turned heads on social media through an Instagram cover page, where her distinctly airy vocals garnered considerable acclaim throughout the Middle East. A year on, Zeyne seeks to merge her global musical influences into her unique Arabic sound as she looks to release originals aimed to push the conventional boundaries of Arabic music.
Apo & The Apostles - @apoandtheapostales
Started out in late 2014 by Apo Sahagian from Jerusalem, along with a couple of guys from Bethlehem, Canada and Australia, Apo & the Apostles tries to reflect the upbeat hustle and bustle of Jerusalem-Bethlehem, the desire of the people to simply have a good time. In other words, Faya3a! Since their debut single Baji Wenek in 2014 they've had a steady string of popular songs and are known for their rowdy shows that turn to parties and afterparties. A great preview of all this is seen in their music video Ansaki, shot during the peak of corona lockdowns in Bethlehem.
MAGIC! - @ournameismagic
MAGIC!, fronted by Palestinian-Canadian Nasri Atweh, found instant success with their debut single Rude which charted #1 in over 40 countries (and has recently hit 2 BILLION views on YouTube). The band fuses reggae, pop and R&B into seamlessly into music that truly moves you. Other prominent songs by MAGIC! include Lay You Down Easy and Kiss Me.