OSLOOB and NAÏSSAM JALAL cultivate a profound, poetic voice combined with an unfailing, powerful groove of protest.
ALBUM RELEASE : 02/03/18 ( Les couleurs du son / l’Autre Distribution)
Victory of Jazz 2019 in France for her album Quest of the Invisible, Naïssam Jalal is artist-associated to La Maison de la Musique de Nanterre, artist-composer associated to l’Estran, Théâtre de Guidel (Brittany, France) and artist associated to National Orchestra of Brittany.
For several years, the French-Syrian flutist NAÏSSAM JALAL has unveiled a personal, vibrant musical world which, both in substance and in form, gives full meaning to the word freedom. With her constant curiosity in her continually renewed search, she shines by her masterful ability to weave links between different musical cultures and different aesthetic fields. Commitment by and in music, crossing borders: these are the guidelines of her numerous artistic projects that have never ceased to surprise, with their originality, their authenticity and their artistic quality.
The new line-up called AL AKHAREEN (meaning « the others » in Arabic) – together with the Palestinian rapper, singer, beatboxer and producer OSLOOB – is conceived as “a reflection on otherness, a leap forward towards a common space to build together, an impertinent wander on both sides of the imaginary borders that fragment music and the world. ”
But who are AL AKHAREEN? Real men and women? An ancestral fear? A media construct? A phantasmagorical projection? From the neighbour to the foreigner, from the new to the migrant, the other is very widely varied, but is perceived as simply different.
And who are we? Osloob was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon, and I am the daughter of Syrian immigrants in France. He is a Palestinian there, I am an Arab here.
What we embody is linked to a violent history, to wars in which we did not participate but whose consequences we suffer. We have had to face the rejection of societies which, in different ways, refuse our presence and our existence within them.
Despite ourselves, each of us embodies the other, the foreigner, the enemy.
I met Osloob in 2008 in Beirut when a producer invited me to play with his band, the legendary KATIBEH 5, for the release of their album. I returned to Beirut many times, sometimes for several months, to work with him. Osloob produced instrumentals, not only for his group, but for an army of rappers throughout the Arab world, from Lebanon to Morocco via Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Tunisia. I recorded improvisations on these instrumentals and he sampled the phrases that he liked.
In 2014, Osloob moved to France and we gradually developed the idea of working together in a new way. We started by playing as a duo, with him on machines, voice and beatbox, and me on flutes. After some concerts, our duo became a trio with DJ Junkaz Lou on turntables. Then we wanted to further develop instrumental and jazz aspects of our line-up, and so we invited Mehdi Chaïb on sax and percussion, Clément Cliquet on drums, and Viryane Say on bass.
The music we play is a bridge between two worlds. Our instrumental and electronic music are one: they cannot be separated from each other, nor taken one without the other. The instrumentals we have produced together preceded the writing of our themes: once the instrumental was composed on the machines, Osloob wrote a text and I wrote a musical theme, as if the theme was a text in its own right. Osloob’s rap is conceived as melodic, rhythmic song, and my flute as the flow of a second rapper.
AL AKHAREEN is the result of many years of work and joint reflection. What is the place of hip-hop and jazz in today’s world? Beyond musical styles that have been compartmentalized, is it not also the partitioning and compartmentalization of societies that appears in this world, with the segregation between popular hip-hop and elitist jazz? It is these boundaries that we want to break down with new music, freeing ourselves from these determinisms.
This musical experience is constructed like a dance of points of view, sometimes here, sometimes there. Through diversity, the others escape from boxes and from categories. The others exist and one must learn to live with them. > Naïssam Jalal
Pedagogical concerts and musical discovery workshops
« With the CD Al Akhareen (the Other), Naïssam Jalal and Osloob sign a masterpiece, weaving Arab hip-hop and oriental jazz. The poetry of Osloob is in total osmosis with music of a sometimes-somber lyricism, but above all incandescent. In this opus, even the shadow is luminous, by the metaphors that generate … »
« Sometimes in a disc, a passage grabs without warning. Here is the fourth track. It follows a serious title track, certainly, but one that can leave one in a contemplative state. And at interlude forty seconds, an attack. This means that if Al Akhareen (« Les Autres ») presents itself as a reflection on otherness, he hovers over this disc bringing together the Franco-Syrian flutist and the Palestinian producer rapper a critical climate calling for, again and always a spirit of resistance (« Fight Back ») »
Radio Campus Tours
« Here we revel in the meeting between the Franco-Syrian flautist Naïssam Jalal and the MC, beatboxer, Palestinian producer Osloob. “Al Akhareen” (“The Others” in Arabic) is a project where the introspective journey inspired by the softness of the tracks played on the flute comes to cross the often sharp and demanding flow of rap proposed by Osloob. The opposite also works when Naïssam Jalal’s instrument seems to take on the role of MC and the rapper’s voice becomes a melodic addition. Otherness and complementarity are indeed the backbone of this outing and it is an undeniable success. »
Middle East Eye
« Al Akhareen finally leaves a mixed melodic imprint: the mark of a unifying art necessary to resist the individualist violence of the current world. A call from the heart to look over there, this place where the « you » replaces the « I » and the personal stories all contain something universal. »
« A duo made up of Palestinian rapper Osloob and Syrian-born flautist Naïssam Jallal. They compose in pairs, and offer music on the borders of jazz, oriental music and the best of hip-hop and contemporary electro. I strongly recommend their first eponymous album, which you can find in all good creameries, like Apple Music, Spotify or Deezer. »
France: Fête de l'Humanité - Petite Halle de la Villette - Paris Hip Hop Festival - Détours de Babel Festival - l'Alimentation Générale - Mucem - CICP - Paris Quartier d'été Festival - La Dynamo in Banlieues Bleues - Maison de la Musique de Nanterre - Jazzebre - Studio de l'Ermitage - La Fraternelle - Jazzebre - La Fraternelle - Scène Nationale Points Communs - Festival Rock the Kasbah - Institut du Monde Arabe - New Morning - Festival Hip Hop de Saint Denis - Festival de Saint Cloud - L'Hydrophone - Rio Loco Festival - La Flèche d'or
Europe: AL Festival 2021 (Germany)
The band is based in France and available for concerts, workshops and pedagogical encounters.