The following post is by Caitlin Ray, a former instructor and performer at Belly Motions, Inc. a World Dance Studio located in Miami, Florida. For more information visit www.bellymotions.com.
Having trouble finding Belly Dance Music?
Let me help!
After all, it’s not just the movements we love about Belly Dance, but the music! Arabic Pop, like American Pop music, can be up-beat and fun, or powerful, heart-wrenching and passionate…especially if it’s a ballad. In addition, its modern sounds and steady beats make it easy to dance to!
Here’s my list of 7 Arabic Pop Artists Every Belly Dancer Should Know!
1) Amr Diab – Known as the “Father of Mediterranean Music,” this Egyptian pop singer produces some of the most progressive music coming out of the Middle East. Check out his new album “Banadeek Ta’ala” and you’ll see what I mean! His music successfully blends Arab and Western rhythms, while his smooth voice makes Belly Dancers melt into their mayas and shimmy through class!
2) Nancy Ajram – First discovered on a Lebanese T.V. competition when she was 12, Nancy was destined for success! Her music and talent is a global sensation, making her the youngest Arab to ever win a World Music Award! Her voice is high-pitched and sweet. Her music? Playful, fun, and often FAST, FAST, FAST! Perfect for getting those bellies in motion! 😉
3) Tarkan – This Turkish dreamboat is responsible for the famous song “Kiss Kiss.” He drives us crazy with his powerful music, driving rhythms, and strong, commanding voice dripping with sex appeal. Fun Fact? Tarkan is his middle name, rumored to come from a famous Turkish comic book character!
4) Natacha Atlas – Born in Belgium, her father’s ancestry includes Moroccan, Egyptian, Palestinian and Jewish heritages. Her mother was a Brit who converted to Islam… it’s NO WONDER this artist has produced ground-breaking fusions across the globe! Singing in Arabic, English, and French, Natacha blends Arabic rhythms with hip hop, drum ‘n’ bass, and reggae. Belly Dancers love her originality and funky Arabic spins on Western songs!
5) Hakim– Born in a small town in Egypt, Hakim grew up around Sha’abi music (Egyptian street music) and trained in folk music traditions. Later on in his career he explored blending his folk style with western influences and the result? Several CD’s filled with “standard” songs every Belly Dancer should know! His music is happy, up-beat, and easy to move to. My first dance teacher played his music all the time, so I can’t help but love him!
6) Fares Karam– This Lebanese star specializes in Dabke music! Dabke is a Lebanese folk dance that is usually danced in a line at parties and celebrations. Although there are many different styles of this folk dance, depending on the region, his music is especially popular in Lebanese clubs where the crowd loves dabke! Entertaining a Lebanese crowd? Throw Fares into your playlist, and get everyone up and dancing!
7) Wael Kfoury– Wael’s music is very different from the other artists on this list. His smooth voice is sure to melt your heart (and hips!) in slow ballads, dripping with emotion. Another artist from Lebanon, he first received recognition on a Lebanese music competition where he won the gold medal for Best Male Singer! When you’re looking for a break from the fast Egyptian pop songs, switch to one of his beautiful tracks! He’ll have you grabbing your veil, swaying to the music, and exploring a whole new way to move!
Did I leave someone out? OF COURSE I DID!
There are so many wonderful Arab artists, this blog could have gone on forever! I’d love to hear who your favorite artists are! Leave a comment!