Friday Interview

3:30pm, Blue stage

Friday Interview

Omar Souleyman

In June, interviewing Omar Souleyman was treated as a matter of personal and national security, with Syria boiling over and warnings that government officials might be listening in.

"It's my mood that inspires me," Souleyman said at 2am over Skype with the aide of a translator. "Sometimes it's sadness. It comes from the situations I've passed through in my life. It's circumstances. They could be for all kinds of happy events or celebrations."

Antone's was quite festive for his standout Chaos in Tejas performance. Backed only by keyboardist Rizan Sa'id, the Syrian street-pop phenom with some 500 releases – mostly live recordings from matrimonial ceremonies – transfixed a small crowd of aficionados with his exotic spell of Syrian dabke and Iraqi choubi.

"I can find my music on the Internet or hear myself broadcasted in Syrian and Arab radio stations, so it's going clearly in the direction of ... making tapes faster."

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