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47Soul at Rudolstadt-Festival (2022)

Shamstep is a Levantine genre of electronic dance music that combines the traditional forms of Dabke music with electronic instruments. 'Sham' is the Arabic name for the region of Greater Syria, Syria-Palestine or the Levant. The term 'Shamstep' was coined by the Jordanian-Palestinian band 47Soul to describe their music.[1][2][3]

Shamstep has been described as 'more than just a byword for hipsterfied East-West fusion. In 47Soul's home region, it's becoming part of the soundtrack for Arab youth.'[4] The band has stated that it believes the region of Sham is "too divided with borders... In 1947, it was accessible to travel between our little cities...[but] we still see [the region] as a whole."[5] 47 Soul's music is also defined by its fusion with Afro-American styles of music like Hip Hop and Reggae, due to some similarities between Arabic and African music .[6]

Other musicians who play similar forms of Dabke using electronic instruments include Omar Souleyman, and Egyptian groups like Islam Chipsy, whose music is seen as part of the Egyptian new wave called Shaabi or Electro Shaabi. The website groups all these forms under the heading 'electro Dabke'.[7]

AlAraby has described 47 Soul's music as a "reinterpretation of traditional Arabic instruments, modal scales and rhythms found in chobi and mijwiz wedding music - and paralleled in the Egyptian electro-shaabi scene".[8]


  1. ^ Aroesti, Rachel; Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (2017-12-28). "From shamstep to drill: the top 40 newcomers of 2018". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  2. ^ "Meet the Palestinian band 47Soul: 'Our message is universal'". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  3. ^ "47Soul: breaking down borders through music". The List. 2018-03-06. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  4. ^ "Is Shamstep a Made-Up Genre For Hipsters—or a Defining Movement of Arab Youth Culture?". Thump. 2016-09-02. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  5. ^ "Levant Band 47Soul Will Make 'ShamStep' Happen". StepFeed. 2015-03-24. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  6. ^ "47Soul: Shamstep - Palestine Chronicle". Palestine Chronicle. 2015-07-04. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  7. ^ "Electro Dabke | Genres | Rhythm Passport". Rhythm Passport. Retrieved 2018-06-17.
  8. ^ Armstrong, Martin. "Big in exile: The sonic journeys of 47SOUL". alaraby. Retrieved 2018-06-17.