Syrian musician Omar Souleyman’s new video for “Chobi” is out today, watch HERE. The track appears on his highly acclaimed new album, To Syria, With Love, out now on Mad Decent. The basis for the song is a sincere homesickness for Souleyman’s Al-Jazira (his native region in north eastern Syria), as an English translation of the lyrics demonstrates, “When will our alienation end so we can go back home? We miss gathering together under the shade of our tree. The soul is tormented by our longing…”
In celebration of the album, Souleyman recently played very select U.S. dates including festival performances at Form Arcosanti and MoogFest.
“It’s been six years I’ve been away, and I’m tired of looking for home and asking about my loved ones. My soul is wounded and it’s like having dust in my eyes,” Souleyman sings on the album. “We are in exile, and our nights are long. Our homeland is our only comfort. Life caused us so much pain—our wounds are too many and every wound calls out, ‘We miss Al-Jazira’.”
Superimposed over complex electronic arrangements provided by Hasan Alo, the new music is joined with lyrics and poetry co-written by Souleyman’s long-time collaborator Shawah Al Ahmad. Medium to high-speed dabke and baladi styles are heavily featured throughout as Souleyman expresses his overarching longing for collective peace.
He has bolstered his growing status as a world and electronic music icon establishing an extensive international following after touring widely and performing at major festivals including Glastonbury, Bonnaroo, Pitchfork Paris and Roskilde. Since its founding in 2013, Souleyman has been an advocate for the charity “Our Heart Aches for Syria,” which operates in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders. In that same year, he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Norway.
TO SYRIA, WITH LOVE TRACK LIST
1. Ya Boul Habari
2. Ya Bnayya
3. Es Samra
4. Aenta Lhabbeytak