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Music of Yemen, World music, Ethnic electronica, Hip hop music
Tomer Yosef, Riff Cohen, Ofra Haza
Balkan Beat Box, Acid Arab, Tomer Yosef, Riff Cohen, Tamir Muskat
A-WA (Arabic for Yes) is an Israeli band made up of the three sisters Tair, Liron, and Tagel Haim. Their single "Habib Galbi" (“Love of My Heart”) became a world hit, with its Yemenite traditional music mixed with hip-hop and electronic music.
Born in the communal settlement of Shaharut, a community of about 30 families in the desertic Arava Valley of southern Israel, the Haim sisters were born to a father of Yemenite Jewish origin and a mother of mixed Ukrainian and Moroccan Jewish heritage. Their paternal grandparents are originally from Sana'a and were brought to Israel during Operation Magic Carpet. The Haim sisters spent most of their holidays with their paternal grandparents, singing piyyutim, traditional liturgical poems in Hebrew and Aramaic, as well as traditional Yemenite songs in Arabic sung by women.
They were discovered by Tomer Yosef, the lead singer of Balkan Beat Box, to whom they sent a demo of "Habib Galbi", a traditional Yemenite melody sung in the Yemenite dialect of Judeo-Arabic. He showed the demo to a few elder Yemenite women, who mistook them as actual singers from Yemen. The video of their first song, Habib Galbi went viral even in the Muslim World, and especially in their grandparents' Yemenite motherland while also became the first ever song in Arabic to hit No. 1 on the Israeli pop charts.
After touring Europe and the USA, the Haim sisters have started to work on their second album, which might include tracks mixing Arabic and English.
During their childhood, they listened to many different kinds of music, like Greek music, Yemenite music, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop, Reggae, Progressive rock and more, but their major source of inspiration has been the traditional Yemenite songs at their paternal grandparents' home. Their music follows the same trend as did Ofra Haza, their main inspiration, decades ago, mixing in this case traditional Yemenite folk music with electronic tunes, reggae and hip-hop, which they call "yemenite folk n' beat"
The trio also cites psychedelic rock, including Deep Purple and Pink Floyd, as influential in their music.
The parents of the Haim sisters, Shmulik and Naama are an architect and holistic therapist, respectively.
Tair has a BA in music from the Levinsky College, while Liron is an architect and Tagel is a graphic designer and illustrator. They also have two younger sisters, Shir and Tzlil, and a brother, Evyatar, who is a soundman and was involved in the production of the Habib Galbi album.Habib Galbi (2016)
Habib GalbiHabib Galbi · 2015A-WA Wikipedia
Lau Ma Al MahabaHabib Galbi · 2015
Ala WabdaHabib Galbi · 2015