Zeid Hamdan: Balekeh (Acoustic)

Unique and rare sounds from the Middle East in a look at the creative publication's current music issue

Hailing from Mauritania, Noura Mint Seymali’s “Tzenni” (the Hassaniya Arabic word meaning “to turn” or “to spin”) is immediately intriguing and alluring. The song quickly morphs into fusion of traditional Moorish griot music, Western pop, blues, even psych-rock—aided by the guitar stylings of her husband, Jeiche Ould Chighaly. Seymali (who began her career at the tender age of 13, as a back-up singer for her legendary step-mother Dimi Mint Abba) belts out vocals that are powerful and rich throughout—with her emotion, passion and spirit all but tangible for listeners.