Dubbed the “Queen of the Qunan” Maya Youssef is a Syrian musician whose mesmering mastery and skill communicates the poetry of her message in the universal language and rhythmic soul of her passionate playing.
The beautiful beat bounces and bubbles with an effervescent energy that is intoxicating to imbibe as it flexes and fluxes to leave you feeling fuzzy headed. A dizzy, giddy, silly, kiddy-whizz trip, from sipping the vivid imagery of its sugary fizz.
Bayati is an Arabic mode of music that serves as the songs heart as well as title. The essence of the track is a gift and celebration of the celestial Earth that gives with no expectation of receipt.
It manages to embody the gratitude and appreciation of human kindness and emotion, while also existing as an intangible nomadic vibration of dazzling dancing cosmic kaleidoscopic colour beamed direct into your pure raw core from some unknown realm.
It summons the soul of creation, childlike inspiration, and the joy of play. The pure unbridled ecstasy of it sings with divine truth in every string strum, pick, pluck, and flick.
The label “world music” is far too broad and horribly reductive. Handily bandied with bored abandon to anything that may sound a little “exotic” to a Western audience. This is jazzy folk music that adds a fresh zesty twist to a classical roots to bring out a fuller, finer flavour.
It potentially introduces listeners to a new instrument, scale, and voice to the poetic heritage of Syrian music. It is enchanting in the expertise and excellence of its spellbinding soulful skill.
Words by Matt Miles.