Bashar Murad

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Bashar Murad
Image: 170 pixels
Bashar Murad Performing at Palestine Music Expo 2019 in Ramallah
Background information
BornFebruary 7, 1993
OriginEast Jerusalem
GenresPop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, social activist
Years active2015–present

Bashar Murad (Arabic: بشار مراد; born February 7,1993) is a Palestinian singer, songwriter, and social activist based in East Jerusalem. His music addresses societal norms, the Israeli Occupation, and LGBT+ rights in the Middle East. He is most commonly known for his collaboration with Icelandic band Hatari on the song Klefi / Samed (صامد), which was shortly released after Hatari raised the Palestinian flag at the grand finale of Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel.[1][2][3][4]

Early life[edit]

Murad was born in East Jerusalem in 1993. His mother's name is Fadia Daibes and his father is Said Murad, the founder of the Palestinian musical group, Sabreen, the first alternative Palestinian musical group.[5] The band was founded in 1980 and Murad was born during the height of their career.[1] This is one reason why for him music was always part of his identity and a means to escape from reality.[1] Music helped him to overcome the pressure from growing up in an occupied territory and growing up homosexual in a conservative society.[1][6]

Upon graduating from the Jerusalem American School, he pursued his Bachelor's degree at Bridgewater College, VA.[7][6] In the US, he realised that not a lot of his co-students knew much about Palestine, yet they wanted to know more about it. This made him realise that he does not want to escape the politics and started covering these issues in his music.[4] Since his return to East Jerusalem in 2014 and after he published several Singles in Arabic and English on his YouTube Channel, he could build an online audience.[4]

Career[edit]

Murad started his career by uploading cover versions of popular songs on his YouTube channel which he created in 2009. Later, he added a Middle Eastern touch to the songs by using typical instruments in his covers before he started creating his own songs.[8]

The majority of his songs are produced by himself in the local record studios of Sabreen Association for Artistic Development.[7] Occasionally, Murad gets grants or other support by organisations and programs such as the Culture Resource Production Awards Program that enabled him to realise the song "Shillet Hamal (Bunch of Bums)".[9] The song is about the feeling of being different and not fitting in.[5] The music video features several people that chose alternative paths of life and thus, can understand this feeling.

For his single "Ana Zalameh (I'm A Man)", Murad worked together with the United Nations. The UN Women's “Men and Women for Gender Equality Regional Programme” produced the song which is about the developments of gender roles in Palestine and told from the perspective of a 10 years old boy.[7]

The collaboration with the Icelandic band Hatari helped Bashar Murad to a wider audience. The single "Klefi / Samed" was released shortly after the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 that took place in Israel. It is about the wish for freedom and calls attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.[3] Hatari was the only band that participated in the contest and took a political stance in the conflict.[1] In August 2019 the music video of the song had 1,2 Million views.

During the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, Bashar Murad was part of the protesting artists that participated in the alternative event Globalvision that was broadcast online during the final weekend of Eurovision.[4]

In May 2019, Bashar Murad participated in the Canadian Music Week in Toronto, Canada.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Murad resides in East Jerusalem with his father and younger brother.[8]

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

As lead artist[edit]

  • "Hallelujah", 2015
  • "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" featuring Muhammad Mughrabi, 2015
  • "The Door", 2015
  • "More Like You", November 2016
  • "Voices", April 2017
  • "Ilkul 3am Bitjawaz" (Everyone's Getting Married), January 2018
  • "Shillet Hamal" (Bunch of Bums), July 2018
  • "Ma Bitghayirni" (You Can't Change Me), September 2018
  • "Ana Zalameh" (I'm A Man), November 2018

As featured artist[edit]

  • "Klefi / Samed (صامد)" by Hatari, June 2019

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Fontaine, Andie (5 June 2019). "Queer Musician Bashar Murad: "Just Being Palestinian Is Political"". The Reykjavík Grapevine. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Meet Bashar Murad: The Palestinian singer blurring gender lines". BBC. 14 June 2019. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  3. ^ a b McArthur, Rachel (22 June 2019). "Palestinian musician Bashar Murad's unlikely collaboration with Icelandic band tops 1m views". Arab News. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d e Wheeler, Brad (21 May 2019). "Gay Palestinian pop singer Bashar Murad keeps dreaming big". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 17 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b Power, Tom (15 May 2019). "Young, queer and Arab: Palestinian musician Bashar Murad wants to be understood for who he actually is". CDC Radio. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  6. ^ a b سالم, بدار; الشلالدة, سارة (2018-10-02). "الفنان الفلسطيني بشار مراد يتحدث عن كسر التابوهات في أغانيه". Vice (in Arabic). Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  7. ^ a b c Margit, Maya (9 March 2019). "Young Palestinian musician aims to change the tune of Arab society". ynetnews. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  8. ^ a b Abusalim, Dorgham (2017-02-01). "Interview with Bashar Murad: English-language Palestinian Pop for Social Justice – Palestine Square". Palestine Square. Retrieved 2019-08-07.
  9. ^ BASHAR MURAD - SHILLET HAMAL بشار مراد - شلة همل (Bunch of Bums), retrieved 2019-08-07