Tuesday, March 15, 2022

El Far3i Completes His Acoustic Trilogy with “Nas Min Khashab”

El Far3i aka Tareq Abu Kwaik


After a decade of unequaled creativity and challenges, El Far3i has just completed his acoustic trilogy with his new album “Nas Min Khashab” [People Made of Wood].  In many ways, this album can be seen as the crown jewel of El-Far3i's oeuvre by taking listeners and fans through a musical journey that is filled with upheaval, courage, and an unwavering belief in the power of love.


Album cover artwork and design by Samer Saem Eldahr

Palestinian-Jordanian artist, Tareq Abu-Kwaik, aka El Far3i  الفرعي , announced the launch of his long-awaited acoustic album “Nas Min Khashab ناس من خشب ” on the 25th of February 2022. The final album in his acoustic trilogy will be released in the year of the 10 anniversary of “Soat Min Khashab  صوت من خشب ”, the first of the trilogy, and the 5th anniversary of the second album, “El Rajol El Khashabi  الرجل الخشبي ”.

You can listen to the full album below or at this link in addition to streaming it on many platforms such as Anghami and Spotify.



Tareq Abu Kwaik has spent the past decade dedicated to embodying El Far3i’s identity by opting for minimalism and refusing to fit into preset molds. He was the first artist to release tracks that combined guitar strums and rap in the Arab World... or as he likes to describe it: “Rap in a power outage”.

According to El Far3i, this album marks the completion of a “10 year musical experience rooted in Amman and extends to the Levant and to Palestine’s diaspora, during a period where our issues haven’t changed, but in which we have witnessed major changes in the way we deal with those issues”. He adds, “the message remains unchanged, but the themes have become more diverse”.

● Nas Min Khashab: Track Overview

The themes of this third album range between love, philosophical and social issues, and critical and personal reflections. Some tracks try to get closer to the people, while others retreat back to the core of growing thought. The album was originally a ten track piece, but after El Far3i listened to the first full home recording, he felt that “Nas Min Khasab” was missing one last piece that wields some of his previous work with the final album— “Madineh Haditheh” and “Tadafoq Al Mukhattat” from his first acoustic album, and “Ya Sahbi” and “Estishraq Dakhily” from the second one. This last piece came to be the 11th track on the album, “Ya Nasi” or the “Extra Track” as he calls it.

Many of the songs on this album have been released along with elegant music video clips, such as “Mirtaha  مرتاحة ” (which was written before “Tghayarti”) in which El Far3i addresses the state of people’s confusion as they settle for their current reality.  Listen below or at this link.


“Lamma Tisfa لما تصفى  ” carries a call for internal reflection; you can watch the music video below or at this link:


“El Qalb El Tani” revives a track that was unofficially released just under ten years ago. Watch below or at this link:



“Madinet El Malahi” is the album’s love song. “It’s a song I wrote for a loved one, and it also represents the love for the city. Due to the pandemic, people lost their connection with spaces and places, and so that love dissipated”, El Far3i says. “This song serves as a reminder to me and the people about love wrapped with nostalgia and uncertainty, and it also expresses my yearning for my city, Amman,” he adds. Watch below or here.


To illustrate the increasing frustration we have been dealing with over the Pandemic years, El Far3i includes “Mahmoom”, a song he wrote in lockdown and an attempt to archive the general feeling that haunted the world. During the writing process, the world was shook by the devastating explosion in Beirut’s port, and the waves of normalization. El Far3i considered those pivotal junctures as messages from the universe, ones telling us that it’s about time we reflected inwards, in order to drive change, so that we can finally help ourselves. Watch below or here.



“Thaghra” will remind El Far3i’s longtime fans of “Dfaf Al Nahir” from his first album. It’s a song that confirms his unique singing style, away from preset molds. This song is an “ode to all what has been”.

One track that is particularly unique amongst this collection, and even El Far3i’s previous acoustic tracks as a whole, is “Ma Iyhoon”. To this he says, “this song describes a specific personality type - The empath - those people who cater to the needs of the ones around them, neglecting their own”. He adds, “I believe that this personality type is prevalent in the Arab World, one that offers undivided sacrifices, it exists on the personal level in our society. In other words, this song speaks to a society as a whole and can be dedicated to many individuals, the mother, the sibling, the partner, and even the neighbor”.  

This album marks the debut of a unique musical experience by El Far3i in his song “Ala Allah Taoud”, one that he considers as the grand finale of the whole trilogy, and the beginning of a new era. This song is the only one that includes other instruments alongside the acoustic guitar in its production, and is a collaboration with producer Hamza Arnaout, aka “El Jehaz”, and an orchestra arrangement by musician Eliane Correa and vocal coach Ribal Al Khudari’s student choir for the chorus. The song’s music video clip is directed by Jordanian artist Dirar Shawagfeh.  Watch below or here



With that, El Far3i’ concludes his trilogy with one clear message - “we are not alone”, as he adds to late musical giant Wadih El Safi’s famous sentence “Ala Allah Taoud”, a sense of responsibility on the people to work towards changing their current reality.

According to El Far3i, this album is a call to action for people to come together, despite their differences. It is also a confirmation that his inspiration for the first and second acoustic albums came from the people, a theme that resonated with him when approaching the third and final album of the trilogy, where he set out to tell a series of short stories about humankind in his voice.

The album’s visual journey compliments the sonic message by focusing on human stories. Accordingly, El Far3i preferred to appear minimally in most of the music videos whose concepts range from the social, the personal, all the way to the existential. He is currently preparing for an upcoming album launch tour that includes performances in Arab and international cities around the world in 2022.  Check his website for details" https://elfar3i.com/

● The Journey of the 3 Albums (2012-2022)

The acoustic trilogy’s journey started off with El Far3i’s first acoustic album, “Soat Min Khashab”, an introduction to his project from his city, Amman, and branching outwards to engulf the rest of the Levantine region. The album was minimalistic in its production style and stripped down to him, an acoustic guitar with one missing string, and thoughts that are too hungry for contextualisation.

In that format, El Far3i found a new space, one that does not resemble any of his previous places as a rapper, percussionist, or as the co-founding member of “El Morabba3” at the time.

The songs of that album were written in the years leading up to the Arab Spring, and discussed the youth’s aspirations for that time. Songs that stood out from “Soat Min Khashab” included: “Dallik Malak”, “Madineh Haditheh”, “Tadafoq Al Mukhattat”, “Tab”, and “Sahib El Ra’i”, one that he still ends many of his live performances with. This album was launched alongside “Far3 El Madakhil”, a rap album.

The political situation escalated in the years that followed, and that was reflected in El Far3i’s rap album “Kaman Dafsheh” released in 2014. About that time, he says “we lost some hope, and we realized that the road to all the changes we called for is way longer than we thought”.

With that, Tareq felt it was the time for his second acoustic album, amid reflexive frustration. “El Rajol El Khashabi”, which was released in 2017, is “the voice of the guilty spokesperson, on behalf of the people”, according to El Far3i. Its most iconic tracks include: “Tghayarti”, “Fitna”, “Nossik”, “Estishraq Dakhily” and “Ya Sahbi”. To this day, Tareq still sees he second album of the trilogy as dark and mysterious, which is even evident in the album’s artwork.

As he was recording his second acoustic album, El Far3i came to realize there was more to be told. He felt he had compromised the hope he sang about in his first album, and the people’s interactions with the first and second albums left him with many observations and questions over the five years since 2017. The success of “Tghayarti” also that the issues he tackles echo the inner thoughts of his listeners. Eventually, these voices and his inner thoughts would morph into “Nas Min Khashab”, the final album of the acoustic trilogy, one so diverse in its themes and the issues yet close to the audience’s hearts. This comes after his latest rap/trap album, “Lazim Tisa” which was released in 2021.

After securing five albums under his belt, and a plethora of collaborations, particularly in the independent Arab rap scene, Tareq felt that a third acoustic album was needed to complete the stories told in his first and second albums that were released alongside three other rap albums. Remaining committed to the essence of “Nas Min Khashab”, Tareq opened up his previously very personal space in preparing for this album and welcomed the insights of those close to him like his manager Mohammad Kharousheh during creative brainstorming sessions.

The album was musically produced by Arab Drumz, and was recorded at London’s Soup Studios under the supervision of recording engineer, Simon Trought. Mixing, mastering and additional production was handled by Dave Scott from the Mix Room’s Hue Studios in Amman, Jordan. Tareq continues to affirm the duality of both the local and the international in his productions as he continues to launch his albums with the Jordanian record label, Immortal Entertainment.

The trilogy may be complete. But far from an end to the “wood” era, Tareq views this as the beginning of a new period of experimentation and musical projects for El Far3i’s project.

“Nas Min Khashab” was released on streaming services on February 25, 2022 via Immortal Entertainment /Levantine Music. Full format details are listed below.

Nas Min Khashab - ناس من خشب
UPC: 196777756315

Track Listing:

1. Mirtaha - مرتاحة
2. Lamma Tisfa - لمّا تصفى
3. El Qalb El Tani - القلب الثاني
4. Law Sarakhna - لو صرخنا
5. Madinet El Malahi - مدينة الملاهي
6. Tlat Arbaa - ثلاث أرباع
7. Ma Iyhoon - ما يهون
8. Mahmoom - مهموم
9. Thaghra - ثغرة
10. Ala Allah Taoud - على الله تعود
11. Ya Nasi - يا ناسي

 

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