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Yunis

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Egyptian experimental composer, performer, and synth player, Yunis is based between the western Delta province of Kafr El-Dauwar and Paris. He holds a deep belief in the sacredness of the traditional musical forms—not as stagnant, historical artifacts needing to be revived, but rather as living, evolving, artistic endeavors that can be endlessly disassembled and reconstructed. With this genre-bending at the root of his artistic method, Yunis draws inspiration from various musical genres such as Shaa’bi music, Zār, Mouled, and Takhmir.

As a co-founder of Kafr El-Dauwar Records (described by Scene Noise as “A truly eclectic group… who can rightly claim to be the first source of a truly authentic and original sound since the emergence of mahraganat”), Yunis produced a collaborative record with Ibrahim X, Ya Khal. In collaboration with Suliman; the label’s art director, Ya Khal brought Egyptian-style of wedding emceeing to the studio for the first time. Later on, he brought his vision to life in his debut solo album The Blue Djinn Dance under the same label. In his latest, Mulid El-Magnoun, Yunis worked on distilling the “mulid” and its varied manifestations in Egyptian folklore. He closely examined the space between local mulid and its Sufi form, with its rhythmic patterns and instrumentation, and as a genre with gritty aesthetics originating from folk weddings.

YUNIS has toured extensively across Europe and has been artist-in-residence at the Kampala, Uganda-based Nyege Nyege label and worked alongside producers such as Chrisman, Dogo, and Jay Mitta. At Cité Internationale des Arts, in Paris, France, he’s been developing a musical and dance creation in collaboration with four French dancers, titled Orouj;. Its themes intersect between spiritual rituals, religious myths, love and desire (release tour scheduled for the first half of next year).