A thread for pop with Arabic influences from the Balkans, Transcaucasia, North Africa and the Middle East

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

This thread is inspired by Mata Hari, the Azerbaijani entry into this year's Eurovision (see the Eurovision 2020/2021 thread), which I somewhat clumsily described as "Europop with Middle Eastern flourishes."


Ideally I would like the focus to be current-sounding pop (i.e., not traditional songs from the past ~5 years) with Arabic elements (strings, vocal style, etc). But also not opposed to it evolving into something different — let's see what other people around here are into :)

daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 02:20 (one year ago) link

Other songs that have caught my attention recently:

Dhurata Dora (Kosovo) ft. Soolking (Algeria) - Zemër


Sura Iskenderli (Turkey) - Dinle


Eleni Foureira (Greece) - Fuego (thanks brestcrawl!)


daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 02:27 (one year ago) link

Oops, wrong link on the Sura Iskenderli track. Here it is:


daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 02:27 (one year ago) link

Another excellent track by Soolking and Dadju (France):


daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 02:31 (one year ago) link

Here is a short playlist (of mostly Albanian artists) I also shared on the Eurovision thread, if anyone is interested.

daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 02:52 (one year ago) link

last year's Efendi entry was the fantastic CleopatRRRRa


Bignefs Proportionable (seandalai), Sunday, 11 April 2021 03:07 (one year ago) link

Woo, thanks for starting this thread, daavid. I will mostly be stealing all your songs for myself but hopefully I'll have a few things to contribute in return.

emil.y, Sunday, 11 April 2021 15:30 (one year ago) link

Honestly, I've just started digging into this type of music myself so I'll also be largely relying on other posters :)

daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 16:44 (one year ago) link

I only know what makes it to Eurovision so will also be paying attention

Bignefs Proportionable (seandalai), Sunday, 11 April 2021 17:43 (one year ago) link

not sure this is exactly what daavid's looking for but I just found Bashkortostan's entry for last year's Turkvision Song Contest and I love it


Bignefs Proportionable (seandalai), Sunday, 11 April 2021 17:59 (one year ago) link

First example that popped into my head is this one, from one of the biggest contemporary stars of Bosnian traditional singing (and the one that introduced gender fluidity into it for the first time), Božo Vrećo (here in collab with Serbian producer/singer, Marko Louis):


Max Florian, Sunday, 11 April 2021 20:00 (one year ago) link

not sure this is exactly what daavid's looking for but I just found Bashkortostan's entry for last year's Turkvision Song Contest and I love it

Yes it is!

daavid, Sunday, 11 April 2021 21:27 (one year ago) link

Would love to know more about Balkan rap. I was watching videos about the Pink Panthers, a Serbian luxury goods theft ring, and they had some awesome music, but what I've found on Spotify sucks. I do like Balkan music!

"We prefer these lightweights to those music assholes" (I M Losted), Monday, 12 April 2021 08:09 (one year ago) link

Balti - Ya Lili feat. Hamouda (Tunisia)


I remember this being a crossover hit a few years ago.

daavid, Monday, 12 April 2021 19:06 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

“Sekret” by Ronela Hajati, this year’s Albanian Eurovision entry, is more than worth a thread revive. There’s several different versions to choose from - I can’t, so here’s all three of them:

the original all-Albanian version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NczxScmhajw

live performance in the national final, partly in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuLIDqZ3waQ

the brand new revamped international video version, English + Albanian and featuring some strategically interspersed Spanish elements: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMu47raqbcc

celebrating ten years of constant posting (breastcrawl), Saturday, 5 March 2022 15:10 (one year ago) link

three weeks pass...

^I love this! Prefer the Albanian version.

daavid, Sunday, 27 March 2022 18:10 (one year ago) link

Also, this one from Cyprus, which I think is fitting for the thread:


daavid, Sunday, 27 March 2022 18:11 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

Eurovision strikes again:

Albania always a favourite of mine, but this year it looked like they botched it with a mess of a song [update: that was the live version] - but lo and behold, they dusted it off and remixed it, and now it sounds awesome, love the drill bass (!) that's in there at some points, just a fabulous melange of modern and traditional sounds and instruments:

Albina & Familja Kelmendi • Duje

at bottom, wrapping my arms around some tripe called "Quest" (breastcrawl), Wednesday, 15 March 2023 17:08 (two weeks ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.