Members of the London-based group
47Soul come from Jordan and Palestine,
but they found shared identity in the music they call shamstep. The name, going against the global division into nations, draws on
the culture of the Bilad al-Sham, the broad region spanning the Asian shores of the Mediterranean.
This is the birthplace of the traditional procession dance known as dabke which,
next to other dances of that part of the world, such as the Iraqi choubi, became major inspiration for the artists of 47Soul.
The dabke is a necessary element at wedding parties and other important celebrations, not to mention being a trademark of the peoples of Bilad al-Sham. During live performances
of 47Soul, one easily feels the driving power of Middle Eastern rhythms and the strength of musical community built on it.
The latter component of shamstep is an obvious reference to dubstep, and explains the electronic nature of what 47Soul do.
The rhythm structures delivered by traditional drums and percussion beats provide a foundation for the singing,
which for its part balances between Oriental style and rap. The compelling sounds from synthesizers and the use of guitar riffs add extraordinary colour. The music of 47Soul
not only wins the hearts of its listeners but also does much to change the narrative
of the Middle East, in which tales of wars
and hatred seem to predominate.
– vocals, MC, percussion
Z The People – vocals, keyboard, electronics
Walaa Sbait – vocals, percussion
El Jehaz – vocals, guitar, electronics