Yasmine Hamdan

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Yasmine Hamdan
ياسمين حمدان
Hamdan performing in 2013
Hamdan performing in 2013
Background information
Born1976 (age 43–44)
GenresElectronica, Trip hop, Arabic
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, actress
Years active1997–present
Associated actsSoapkills
Yasmine Hamdan
At Aarhus Festival 2015 (Denmark))

Yasmine Hamdan (Arabic: ياسمين حمدان‎; born 1976) is a Lebanese singer, songwriter and actress, now based in Paris. She became known with Soapkills, the duo she founded with Zeid Hamdan (no relation) while she was still living in Beirut, Lebanon. The first album released by Soapkills was Bater (1999).[1] Soapkills was one of the first independent electronic bands in the Middle East, and its innovative approach exerted a lasting influence. To this day, Yasmine Hamdan is considered an icon of underground music across the Arab world.[2][3]

After moving to Paris, Hamdan collaborated with CocoRosie. She teamed up with Mirwais (who was part of French electronic new wave band Taxi Girl in the 80s, and produced/co-wrote some of Madonna's albums),[4] with whom she recorded the Arabology album (2008), under the Y.A.S. moniker.

Hamdan then joined forces with Marc Collin (of Nouvelle Vague) to write and produce her first, self-titled solo album, which came out in France and Lebanon in 2012 on Kwaidan Records), and was released internationally (in a revised version with five new tracks) in 2013 by Crammed Discs under the title Ya Nass. In this album, which blends pop, folk and electronic sounds with melodies and lyrics inspired by various Middle-Eastern traditions, Hamdan "has undertaken the challenge of affirming and rewriting Arabic musical heritage", according to the Al-Akhbar paper.[5] Her personal life (she has lived in Lebanon, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Greece and France) and her curiosity have enabled Hamdan to playfully use various dialects of Arabic in her lyrics, which alternate between Lebanese, Kuwaiti, Palestinian, Egyptian and Bedouin, as well as some of the code-switching which is so typical of Middle-Eastern humour.[6][7][8]

Hamdan had a cameo in Jim Jarmusch's film[9] Only Lovers Left Alive alongside Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. She has written an original soundtrack for the theatre play Rituel pour une métamorphose by Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous for a production at Comédie Française.[10]

Entitled Al Jamilat ('The Beautiful Ones'), Yasmine Hamdan's second solo album came out in 2017. Recorded in Beirut, Paris and London, it was produced by herself, co-produced by Leo Abrahams and Luke Smith, and features performances by Shahzad Ismaily, Steve Shelley and more. An album of reworks by the likes of Acid Arab, Matias Aguayo, Brandt Brauer Frick and several others came out in 2018 (Jamilat Reprise).

Yasmine Hamdan is married to the Palestinian film director and actor Elia Suleiman and lives in Paris.[11]


with Soap Kills
  • Bater (1999)
  • Cheftak (2001)
  • Enta Fen (2005)
with Y.A.S.
Yasmine Hamdan, concert in Berlin, 2017
Solo recordings
  • Ya Nass (2013) (originally given a limited release in 2012 as Yasmine Hamdan)
  • Al Jamilat (2017)
  • Jamilat Reprise (2018)

Film music[edit]


  1. ^ "Yasmine Hamdan - Farklı Müzik". Farklimuzik.com. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Yasmine Hamdan Collaborates With Marc Collin". Rollingstoneme.com. 7 December 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Arabic Music's Modern Voice". The New York Times. 13 April 2012.
  4. ^ Mulholland, Tara (12 April 2012). "Arabic Music's Modern Voice". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ "Yasmine Hamdan: Musical Tradition With an Attitude". Al Akhbar English. 27 April 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Leçon de géographie intérieure avec Yasmine Hamdan". Mondomix.com. 18 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  7. ^ Par Marie Ottavi (21 May 2012). "Yasmine Hamdan, l'envol pop Next". Next.liberation.fr. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "REORIENT - Middle Eastern Arts and Culture Magazine". Reorientmag.com.
  10. ^ "Rituel pour une métamorphose". Comedie-francaise.fr.
  11. ^ Saad, Shirine (3 August 2013). "Childhood wanderings influence Yasmine Hamdan's third album". The National. Retrieved 25 March 2016.

External links[edit]