The French sometimes, indeed, do it better…
Jack Lang, the current president of the Arab World Institute, will always be one of the most iconic ministers of Culture, and not only in Europe, but in the whole world too. Almost forty years ago, and along with his Director of Music and Dance at the Ministry, Maurice Fleuret, Lang had a dream: that one day a year, the French people, amateurs and professionals, should be encouraged, maybe even urged, to play music in the streets, and in every city across France, to celebrate one of the forms of art that brings people together the most, an art that soothes and probably even heals the most. In 1982, and on June 21 exactly, the day of the summer solstice, Jack Lang’s dream came true : the first Fête de la Musique (Make Music Day, Music Day or World Music Day) took place in Paris. And today, years later, it is still celebrated in more than 130 countries, in over 1,000 cities across the world, and notably in the MENA region. And today, millions of women and men of all ages, are singing and dancing in the streets, like never before, taking the concepts of conviviality, of universality, and of belonging to the same tribe, to an unprecedented level.
So naturally on this occasion, Pulse has asked two of the most prominent Arab DJs, the Saudi Cosmicat and the Lebanese Caline Chidiac, to imagine a soundtrack for the upcoming fashion show of one of their favorite Arab designers. Chidiac picked the Lebanese maestro Elie Saab, and Cosmicat, Reem Acra, the Lebanese-American who always makes headway.
If you ask her to choose between music and fashion (being a vintage “fashion freak”, hence her brand, Underdog, a carousel of customized vintage clothing that gained traction amongst the fashion-savvy crowd), Caline Chidiac would probably be the saddest person on earth. She is organically bound to both, by an umbilical cord of which only she knows the secrets.
And so when she slipped into Elie Saab’s world, she splashed her astonishing musical DNA all over his virtual runway, with tracks from Yasmine Hamdane, Polo & Pan, and Amadou & Mariam, among many others. Why Saab? “He is quite attached to his core values, and even more so to his Lebanese roots, but has a very European and glamorous trademark that I truly like…”
Cosmicat, also known as Nouf Soufyani, is a pioneer to say the least. Though tired of the assumptions of being the first Saudi female DJ, she definitely is an inspiration, a role model for a lot of young Arab, and particularly Saudi women. Dentist and DJ, and self taught, she began making music in her bedroom : she is today an electro-DJ star all over the Arab world and beyond.
She headlined the MDLBEAST music festival, the biggest event held in the region in 2019 in Riyadh. And the best is yet to come. And when entering Acra’s universe, and in perfect harmony we must say, Cosmicat played hype and eclectic tracks from Ross from Friends, Bob Moses, and her own debut album, Dilemma. Why Acra? “I feel she represents me as an Arab woman, I simply love her style and her class…”