XP News: MENA Artists' Iconic Performances on ColorsXStudio
We take a look at some of the most memorable showcases by Arab artists on Germany’s celebrated performance show ColorsxStudios.
COLORS’ renowned artist performance series was founded in Berlin by former marketeer Philipp Starcke and fashion photographer Felix Glasmeyer in 2016, and quickly skyrocketed to cult-like status. In an era where artists lean on lavish music videos, over the top showmanship and meme chasing techniques, COLORS thrived by stripping down the ornamentation and gimmicks and letting artists get back to basics, putting the artistry center-stage with no distractions.
The vivid space, combined with the performers’ always-immaculate outfits, helped COLORS slide right into an Instagram age that prioritized clean aesthetics and bold colorways.
The channel aims to promote the most distinctive emerging artists and original sounds. And seeing as it garners a whopping 40 Million views per month, its career making potential is non-deniable, with the biggest example being that of Gen Z breakout Billie Eilish.
Here we take a look at some of the most iconic ColorsxStudios performances by artists across the Arab world.
Nada El-Shazly - Bānit
Kicking off our list is Egyptian producer and vocalist Nadah El-Shazly, who gives us a glimpse into her upcoming album by debuting her new single ‘Bānit’ produced by Egyptian Post-Shaabi powerhouse 3Phaz. Featuring contemporary electronica with traditional Arabic influences, captivating smoky vocals, immersive Doff beats and goose-bump inducing eye-contact, Nadah delivers a hypnotizing performance of a song about moving on and summoning spirits to find the strength to do so.
Bu Kolthoum - Shiva
Next is none-other than Syrian Producer and Rapper Bu Kolthoum performing his hit ’Shiva’ off his 2021 album ‘Talib’, with the ColorsxStudios performance garnering just under 550K views on youtube.
The artist is seen representing his Arabic heritage by sporting a black and white keffiyeh on his shoulder, standing in front of a mustard yellow background. Kolthoum flexes his versatility as a rapper and songwriter over a fiery, high octane and infectious beat. His abilities as a performer are really showcased here as he embodies the power of Shiva through his energy, hyped delivery with a huge emphasis on each lyric.
Sammany - Matalib
Next up is Qatar-based Sudanese artist and producer Sammany Hajo who shares a powerful and emotive rendition of ‘Matalib’ as part of ‘A Colors Sudan Show’, an initiative launched by ColorsxStudios to raise awareness on and draw international attention to the Sudanese uprising ignited in 2018. The ‘A Colors Sudan Show’ sub-series was characterized by the color Blue, echoing the #BlueForSudan movement which had defined ‘Mattar Blue’ as the official color of the Sudanese Revolution.
The artist sits on a high chair wearing a traditional Sudanese Jalabiyah, scarf and Kufi, paired with iconic Vans Sneakers. Armed with an acoustic guitar and his cordial vocals, Sammany delivers a Bi-lingual anthem which has resonated with human rights activists around the world, garnering over 1 Million views on Youtube.
MANAL - 3ARI
For Moroccan singer and women’s rights advocate Manal’s COLORS performance, she shares a moving rendition of her hit single ‘3ARI’, which originally dropped on International Women’s Day in 2022. Blending together Reggaeton and Arabic percussion with fragile piano melodies and haunting strings, ‘3ARI’ tells a sad but true story about domestic violence in Morocco, with lyrics that offer a beacon of strength and hope for women all around the world.
The artist is seen standing in front of a background sharing the same blood-red color as the Moroccan flag.
Flippter - Blue
Taking us back to the ‘A Colors Sudan Show’ series is Saudi-based Sudanese rapper, comedian and activist Flippter.
With the iconic ‘Mattar Blue’ background behind him, the artist stands in front of the overhanging mic donning a black sweatshirt with ‘Made in Sudan’ written in Arabic on the front and a traditional Islamic rosary.
Flippter delivers a ruthless politically charged performance of previously unreleased single ‘Blue’. Each verse, line and word paints a startlingly honest and unsettling account of the Sudan uprising, sending cross-border waves and amassing 1.7 Million views on Youtube.
SHOBEE - Power
Last March Moroccan artist, composer and author Shobee premiered on ColorsxStudios with his new single ‘Power’, a standout track from his upcoming debut album, and in just two months it has garnered over 1.6 Million views on Youtube.
Styled in all-black attire in front of a blue background, the artist effortlessly switched between Arabic and English, showcasing his dynamic delivery against a soundscape of atmospheric, bass-heavy instrumentation.
GAIDAA - Morning Blue
In the third and final edition of ‘A Colors Sudan Show’ ColorsxStudios brings us Dutch-Sudanese singer Gaidaa sharing an insightful and poetic rendition of ‘Morning Blue’.
Over the tranquil instrumentation, Gaidaa alternates between singing in English and Arabic. Although the song touches on the hardships and darkness that the people of Sudan have faced over the years, there’s an element of hope that permeates throughout the song, a sense of power and change.
This is translated into Gaidaa’s choice of clothing for the session, where she wears a traditional white thobe with gold earrings, mirroring the iconic viral photo of a woman giving hope at a Khartoum demonstration.
ALEWYA - Ethiopia
Born in Saudi-Arabia to an Egyptian father and an Ethiopian mother, London-based musician and artist Alewya graces ColorsxStudios with a soulful and deeply personal rendition of her song "Ethiopia'' celebrating her African heritage.
In front of a brick red background, the artist stands barefoot with Henna covered fingers and wearing a traditional African woven hat. As she sings, Alewya is accompanied by a simple, rhythmic percussion track, which serves to underscore the power and intensity of her vocals.
Throughout the performance, Alewya's energy and passion are palpable, as she channels the deep emotions and experiences that have shaped her artistry and her life and pays tribute to the enduring legacy of Ethiopian music and culture.
SAINT LEVANT - Tell Me I’m Dreaming / From Gaza, With Love
In a special edition of COLORS, ColorsxStudios joins forces with Adidas Originals to celebrate the launch of Club Originals with an exclusive video series with a newly designed bespoke stage.
Standing center stage in front of a panoramic purple screen is non-other than Palestinian lover-boy Saint Levant, opting for a vivid magenta vest-trouser combo paired with his signature white undershirt. The artist is accompanied by a humble band consisting of a violin player, a keyboardist and a Tabla player.
Saint Levant delivers a smooth double rendition of ‘Tell me I’m Drowning’ and ‘From Gaza, with love’, gracefully leading out both songs with his soothing breaths blown through a golden saxophone.
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