Arab Music Masterclass Podcast

Arab Music Masterclass is a podcast exploring different aspects and histories of Arab music and culture.

There are some voices that define a country’s music. There are some movements that define a country’s culture. Join Laura Marie Brown, Creative Producer of Liverpool Arab Arts Festival for an Arab Music Masterclass, a series exploring some of the artists, sounds, bands and scenes that define the Arab world.

It began as a radio show, now we’re making it available as a podcast.

Listen on Apple Podcasts here

Listen on Spotify here

Episode 1

Umm Kulthum is the Voice of the East, the Star of Egypt. How does her music define the Arab sound for a generation, and how did she become part of a shift in Egyptian politics and culture that would define her legacy?

Listen to the episode here


Episode 2

The soundtrack to Disney+ Marvel series Moon Knight has made Arab music fans take notice. When you’re into Arab music, you’re used to films and TV shows from the West using traditional sounds when they want to tell you they’ve moved the action to the Arab world. Not so with Mohammed Diab’s Moon Knight where the soundtrack reflects the rich diversity of Egypt’s music, past and present.

Laura Marie Brown talks to writer Danny Hajjar about representation in music, mahraganat and seeing your culture reflected on screen. Listen here


Episode 3

Arab Music Masterclass travels to Palestine to explore hip hop and the voice of protest. From DAM to MC Abdul, Shadia Mansour and Julmud hear how hip hop and electronica are part of Palestine’s cultural identity and how it makes its mark on the world stage. Liverpool Arab Arts Creative producer ties a thread between the country’s national poet and spoken word through to the Arab lyricism of modern day Ramallah.
Listen here 

Episode 4

Arab Music Masterclass heads to Mogadishu and the vibrant music scene of Somalia in the 70s and 80s. From Dur Dur Band to Shareero Band, right up to today’s artists flying the flag for Somali music, hear why this scene has got a sound for everyone.

Listen here



You can still listen to the old shows on Melodic Distraction

The music of Sudan

This month’s Arab Music Masterclass looks at Sudan’s music through the lens of one band, and in fact one album. Noori and his Dorpa Band released Beja Power in the summer of 2022 through Ostinato Records. The album and the band tells the story of the fight of resistance through people and a community. With an electric blend of modern soul, jazz, blues, country, and surf rock sounds with ancient Beja rhythms, this debut album by Noori and his Dorpa Band, Beja Power, acts as a rallying cry for a people whose complex histories have placed the community at the forefront of political change in Sudan. Liverpool Arab Arts Festival’s Creative Producer takes us through Sudan’s music, from folk tales to modern sounds, creative defiance and identity.

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Arab Music Masterclass shares stories from Palestine, through it’s music. Past and prsent and across genres, Palestinian music has often been about solidarity, cultural identity and resistance. Here is a selection of artists that have defined some of the country’s musical heritage and identity.

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This month, Arab Music Masterclass shares some of the greatest female Arab artists working today, and who have shaped modern music. It’s also the last show before Liverpool Arab Arts Festival returns on 6 July, so hear from two artists playing the festival; Maya Youssef and Nxdia.

Listen back to the programme here 




Launching this year’s Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, on Friday 7 July, is legendary British Somali artist Aar Maanta. In honour of this headline act in this show we celebrate the Sounds of Somalia and take you into the rap and hip hop trends of Mogadishu, explore how social media is driving awareness of Somali artists and why multilingual artists are the voice of a young generation. 

As Liverpool Arab Arts Festival celebrates its 25th birthday this year, we also dip into the archive to share some of our favourite tracks of bands who have played the festival.

Listen here