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2021
Nabil, R., "Hybrid Identities/Hybrid Music: The Political Aesthetics of Arab Youth Musical Performances in Diaspora", The Journal of Music Science and Arts, pp. 29-49, 2021. Abstractnabil_rowa_jfma-pages_29-49.pdfWebsite

This paper analyzes the interaction between the musical productions and the cultural identity of young Arab musicians in Western diaspora. The theme of ‘hybridity’ tackles questions of cultural identity and identity politics, particularly when the musical performances in diaspora and imposed self-exile voice political struggles in the homeland, and manifest the musicians’ national consciousness. Highlighting political aesthetics and ideologies of transnationalism, the present research examines the musical performances of two Arab bands in Western diaspora. The first is ‘47Soul’, a London-based band of Palestinian origins that fuses the music folklore of the Levant, with electronic sonic systems, in musical hybrids negotiating the Palestinian musical identity. The second is ‘Nas Jota,’ a Sudanese music group and production platform based in the United States of America. Nas Jota produces Arabic hip-hop performances, mixed with African reggae, employing heteroglossic linguistic variations, to articulate political protest against the autocracy of Sudan’s former regime. The paper aims to illustrate the transcultural exchange of musical and lyrical features reflective of the musical hybrids and hybrid identities emerging in light of the diasporic and exilic experiences. The paper places the musical hybrids in the cultural and political contexts of their composition and reception. Offering an interdisciplinary approach, the paper argues that the hybrid identities of these young Arab musicians is represented in the hybridity of the musical fusions. In addition, the engagement of the musical hybrids with national popular struggles in the homeland sheds light on national identity ties.

2020