- Title: Syrian singer Omar Souleyman takes to the stage in Amman
- Date: 9th July 2017
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) AUDIENCE MEMBER, ERIC, SAYING: "I expect [his popularity] is because of the combining of history and modernity, and I think this resembles the Arab world today. There are many young people here. I thought [Omar Souleyman's] music is popular in the West but it is also popular in the East, both."
- Embargoed: 23rd July 2017 11:17
- Keywords: Omar Souleyman Syrian singer Amman Jordan Arab musicians
- Location: AMMAN, JORDAN
- City: AMMAN, JORDAN
- Country: Jordan
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music
- Reuters ID: LVA0056OZVI39
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Wearing his signature black sunglasses and traditional Arab dress, Syrian superstar Omar Souleyman took to the stage in Amman, performing to thousands of cheering fans.
Souleyman, a farmer turned wedding singer, fled to Turkey from his hometown in northern Syria in 2011, just as the civil-war was breaking out.
His style of music, a fusion of modern electronic and traditional folk tunes, has gained a cult-like following in the West. He has performed to packed venues in London, the United States, Canada, Australia and even Japan.
"My songs are always folk tunes. I started with folk music and will end with folk music. Folk music is very simple, they lyrics are usually improvised by the poet, or I even sometimes make up the words during a concert. The fame I have garnered is due to the fact that I created a style of my own, I did not mimic anyone else," said the fifty-year-old performer.
The father of nine said he has seen more support in the West than he has in the Arab world. But said that he was delighted to see such a large crowd in Amman, where he is performing for the first time.
As soon as Souleyman began his signature track, "Warni Warni" the crowds erupted into cheers, and began dancing and clapping along to the tunes.
One audience member, Eric, said he first saw Souleyman in concert in Montreal, and was eager to see him live again.
''There are many young people here. I thought [Omar Souleyman's] music is popular in the West but it is also popular in the East, both,'' said Eric.
Souleyman's music videos have garnered more than 19 million views on YouTube. His latest album, 'To Syria With Love', was released on June 2.
The concert in Amman was organised by the Red Bull Music Academy.
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