Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Songstress Elizabeth Ayoub Combines Arabic Music with Latin Beats and More


The youngest daughter of Lebanese immigrants, Elizabeth Ayoub grew up in Venezuela speaking three different languages and with musical influences ranging from Quranic verse to Fairuz to Simon & Garfunkel and Barbra Streisand.

Her first album, Prelude, was a true work of art and brought together a wide variety of musicians from the Latin and Arab world–from Grammy-award winning Bacilos drummer JJ Freire, to world class Cuban bassist Jose Armando Gola, to guitarist-extraordinaire Jose Elias, to Oud player Bassam Saba (who once played with the Lebanese legendary singer Fairuz).


Soon thereafter, World Connection and Times Square Records signed Elizabeth Ayoub after watching her perform in Detroit at the Arab-American National Museum.   Traveling between Madrid and Beirut, her second album titled Oceanos y Lunas emerged and contained songs in Spanish, Arabic, French and English.  



Here’s what iTunes had to say about Elizabeth Ayoub's Oceanos y Lunas:
“In an example of the impact of world politics on culture, the parents of singer Elizabeth Ayoub emigrated from Lebanon before that country’s civil war, settling in Venezuela before her birth. Given that heritage, her music, not surprisingly, mixes Arabic and Latin styles, and she sings it in Arabic and Spanish, when she’s not venturing into English or French. In the arrangements, the guitars mix with ouds, but no matter what the instrumentation, the approach is gentle and folkish, and as a songwriter Ayoub (as revealed in the translations of her lyrics in the CD booklet) sticks to generalized longings for romantic love. Occasionally, the music veers toward American country-folk, notably in “Je T’Attends,” which, with its repeated use of the phrase “don’t know why” (sung in English) suggests Norah Jones, and “Volver.” But American country singers don’t usually sing their choruses in French followed by the wordless expression “ya leyli.” Ayoub is a poster child for international understanding, and her music should have pop appeal across cultures.”

Below is a video made by 'World Connection' which spotlights Elizabeth Ayoub's music and includes an interview with her: (Link at http://youtu.be/U095jDKizHg?t=47s)


Here is a breathtaking song that Elizabeth Ayoub recorded in Arabic; it is titled 'Ya Oud' and taken from her second album Oceanos y Lunas:


You can hear many more samples of Elizabeth Ayoub's music at http://ohmytracks.com/#/music/Elizabeth+Ayoub

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