Ibrahim Hesnawi - The Father Of Libyan Reggae (LP)
Born and raised in Tripolis, the capital of Libya, Hesnawi was not initially interested in music. However, he credits Bob Marley, the universal face of the reggae genre, with changing his mind. Bob Marley was the artist that brought Reggae to Libya. And the two disparate musical cultures—Jamaican and Libyan—weren’t so far apart. On the contrary: local musicians intertwined these influences quite fluidly. Libyan reggae borrows elements from its own culture and is usually accompanied by a steady marching tempo, a significant hallmark of wedding chants. An effortless synthesis of Jamaican reggae and traditional Libyan sonics is featured throughout Hesnawi’s catalogue. What better example of this audio amalgam than the LP’s powerhouse lead single “Never Understand” which brings a roots and dancehall flavor into conversation with North African and Middle Eastern musical rhythms and Jamaican stylings. With warm keys, a thick, bouncing bass, and English lyrics to boot, the track sounds like a missing Bob Marley cut. Fiery funk tracks “Tendme” and second single “Watery Al Kabir” bring a tireless groove to the record via chugging rhythms and key interludes that deliver searing harmonic motifs. Focus track “Only World” grounds the LP, placing an emphasis on its anthemic lyricism and subtle, yet slick guitar licks and synth runs that make Libya seem like the “only world” where Reggae continues to stand strong.
Only World Ft. Suzan
Tayr Al Salama
Al Hob Wal Salam
Fouhi Ya Nesma
Watany Al Kabir
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