Arabic Rock

1/10/2012 7:45:03 AM

by Mike V.Derderian

JADAL launch their first album

When four Jordanians in their late teens and early twenties got together to form a band in 2003, they had no idea what they want to do other than play and sing the rock songs they grew up listening to. They formed JADAL, and it wasn’t different from the majority of amateur bands out there; until they decided to sing in Arabic.

“We like rock,” says Rami Delshad, Jadal’s lead vocalist, “We wanted to make music we like in the language we like so that our society can understand what we’re singing.”

To start this Arabic rock experiment, Jadal decided to take a well-known song – Abdel Halim’s Tobah (never again) – and remake it in rock style. “Of course there were people who told us ‘What are you doing to Abdel Halim? If he were alive to hear this he would kill himself’,” says Delshad. “But we got more positive feedback than negative.”

This gave Jadal the confidence to start writing original songs, and they participated in the first Jordanian Bands Competition in 2007. They recorded their competition concert, which was their first big concert, and posted the songs on the web. This helped them get more exposure and build a fan base before deciding to record an album. “Salma” was the first original song they wrote, and it quickly gained popularity. “Feedback for Salma was amazing,” says Delshad. “Its subject is light and people relate to it in a cute way.”

Delshad says that this taught him and his band not to be too willful in the music they make. “You shouldn’t only do what you think is nice,” he says. Salma, he adds, may not be his favorite song, but he realizes that a band needs to have a balance between targeting a niche audience and reaching out, especially with songs that appeal to radio stations.

“We don’t want to be a commercial band,” he says, “but sometimes you have to compromise.”

You can see this in their first album, which was officially launched in August and carries 14 tracks. They’re all original with the exception of Tobah and they cover different topics, mostly social issues.

An exciting song to look out for is “Ya Bani Adam,” which Jadal recorded with Palestinian hip hop band DAM. Jadal recorded their part and sent it over to Palestine for DAM to record the rap; the two groups had never met before. It was only after the recording was finished that they met and performed together at the Al-Balad Festival in Amman last July.

The core band members are Mahmoud Radaideh on guitar, Laith Nimri on drums, and Rami Delshad, lead vocals. Their new album is available at Virgin Mega Store, Music Box, Extra Music, and Hammoudeh DVD.



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