The Godfather of Lebanon’s Underground Music

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Zeid Hamdan, born in 1976, is a singer, songwriter, musician, and pioneer of the underground music scene. He is the music producer behind some of the most successful bands on the Lebanese and regional alternative scene. He created the website that often features some of the most interesting projects on the Arab music scene, deservedly earning him the title of “godfather of Lebanese underground music” after almost two decades of experimentations with music.

Hamdan is a truly musical pioneer and legend of the Middle East’s alternative music scene. With more than 20 albums and EPs under his belt, his work speaks for itself. He was rightly named one of 8 leading lights in Lebanese culture by CNN.

In 1997 Hamdan started his career with Arabic trip hop band Soap Kills, featuring Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan and have become retrospective cult heroes. Similar respect is heaped on The New Government, the controversial, frequently anti-establishment, English-language punk-rock band Hamdan led from 2004.

A renowned Lebanese electro-music composer and producer, Hamdan was and continues to be a staunch supporter of budding Lebanese and Arab underground bands, evident by his collaborations with Kazamada, Zeid and the Wings, Katibeh 5, the New Government, and many more. Besides his collaborations with Maryam Saleh, he has also worked with Egyptian singer Maii Waleed.

Hamdan created scores for films like: From Beirut With Love, El Tangawya, Hadouta Men Sag, Beirut Hotel, and most recent Inhebbek Hedi, among others.

Zeid and the Wings, founded in 2010, are Zeid’s latest venture. They are an eclectic group of musicians and singers that came together gradually and are known for producing Arabic folk, reggae, rock, and electro songs with an edge that blends amazingly harmonic vocals with innovative beats.

Hamdan’s most recent project is titled Halawella, a collaboration with Egyptian singer Maryam Saleh which comprises of an amalgam of Arabic songs, both old and new, fused with electronic music. In Halawella, Hamdan creates an inexplicably novel music experience, mastering an amalgam of electronic, trip, hip-hop and new age music.

Zeid is a truly remarkable artist who builds his music with notes that fly and bounce to the beat of his own spirit full of energy, youth, and vigor. Built around melodies that do not compete or interfere with his interpretations of the songs, he lets his music be guided by the rhythm of its own thump.

A musical multi-disciplinary artist, his presence and aura are inspirational and call to enjoyment of life and music. The nationality or style of different artists doesn’t really matter to him, it’s mostly the spirit of the artist he meets that pushes him to involve in their carrier. And although resident of Beirut, art is his country and home is on any stage or studio around the world, where he lives to the beat of his own tempo.

He leads his bands through epic, emotional performances and his music is an outpouring of himself that speaks for freedom of mind, body, and of a new identity for a generation lost in conformity. True to his calling, Zeid is a champion of his own art reflecting fresh rhymes with non-generic beats. What he feels inside is spilled out in space, and thus is this country’s new musical generation’s saving grace. He exhibits a remarkable sensitivity towards his songs’ tones, embracing the underground musical undercurrents that reign throughout his albums, creating a musical experience that serves and enhances its mood.

To visit the site:

Some of my favorite songs:

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