‘musician should learn and know his own music heritage very well’ | Interview with Akram Abdulfattah

Monologue, an album that blends Hindu, Turkish and Persian styles with classical music and a thrilling modern sensibility.

Read our interview with the artist below.

Describe your sound in three words please!

Cross-Cultural, Folk Fusion, Unconventional 

You have already received many recognitions! What does success mean for you going forward?

Yes, I am so glad for all the music experiences I have gained so far, still I have a lot of music journeys to make, and I’m really looking forward to compose more music and make more collaborations worldwide. 

Also one of the most meaningful goals for me as a musician living in Palestine, is to develop the instrumental scene here and continue my contribution to the music education in Palestine. 

Do you find it hard or easy maintaining a balance between your Middle Eastern and Western influences? Is it necessary for such a balance to exist?

I do think there should be a balance, but “balance” could be really different for a listener to another. This balance could be also changing through years as the journey of music is usually unexpected, and the more you explore and go deeper it becomes clearer that music is universal.

But I also believe that musician should learn and know his own music heritage very well, and to also be able to learn new music styles, its always better to build on a strong roots. 

We believe that music has no borders. Still Arabic music, compared to western music, can be different in terms of techniques, heavy use of microtonal intervals and very different sound in general. Is Music theory in the end, considering that it strongly focuses on Bach, kind of racist?

I think the term “western music theory” is not very accurate, and it did focus on only few names from Europe and didn’t give a chance to female and non-white composers at that time, and yet “Music theory” only presents the 18 century musicians from Europe. 

As a cross-culture/modern  artist I believe that the music education around the world should be more diverse and free, all people around the world should have some introduction to ancient music cultures like the Arabic music, and Indian music for example, I’m sure that this will change the whole perception of music around the world and will achieve more understanding to ancient music cultures for the future generations. 

What is the relation of music to the struggles for social justice and liberation? 

I think music is one of the highest levels of human creativity, it also presents our identity roots and history.

It’s a very effective way to express feelings and to deliver a message and for people under occupation and discrimination music can be the only secure home and a strong tool for liberation and unity. 

Do you have any plans to tour in the near future? What countries would you choose to include?

I’m planning to be moving around India and Sweden for concerts and music projects between the months of October till March, hopefully would love to include more European cities as well.  

Do you have an artist that you would describe as a hidden gem that we should know about!

Samah Mustafa 

Thanks Akram Abdulfattah!

Follow Akram Abdulfattah
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