Reem Kelani’s musical goal is to educate the world about Arabic history and culture through her music.
Reem plays in London tonight as part of the Barbican’s Ramadan Nights concerts to celebrate the month of Ramadan. She was born to Palestinian parents in Manchester, UK and raised in Kuwait.
Interestingly, Reem herself was not a big fan of Arabic music when she was growing up. She was converted after seeing a group of women perfoming at a wedding near Nazareth when she was a teenager.
This perhaps reflects the fact that Arabic music can be less approachable than other kinds of music, but with hidden complexities that become apparent on further listening.
In this interview with the Guardian she chooses 10 artists and genres which in her opinion provide a good introduction to Arabic music.