Of the most underrated things is music in the Middle East. The following are 10 songs/tracks from Egyptian and/or Arabic artists/bands that you probably never heard of. You’re definitely missing out on these.

Alaa Wardi & Hayajan – Ween El Kalam

Ever heard of a Saudi alternative rock band? I mean you have to give credit where credit is due. Alaa Wardi and his team Hayajan will definitely knock you out with their hit ‘Ween El Kalam’ released in 2011 (on YouTube).

Wust El Balad – Antika

We all know Cairokee. It’s time to give these guys the attention they deserve. Wust El Balad: “an amazing blend of sounds, combines traditional Arabic Music with Modern and Western Twist.” How can you not fall in love with Hany Adel’s singing?

Autostrad – Kanabay

Mediterranean indie? Does that even exist? Autostrad is a Jordanian indie band “aiming to introduce a new genre to the music scene.” The band is increasingly becoming one of my favorites. Yazan AlRousan is the lead vocal, ladies and gentlemen…

El Dor El Awal – Kitty

Oriental Jazz is just one click away. El Dor El Awal is an Egyptian jazz band founded in 1999 (yeah and you probably don’t know about it, see what I mean?) Kitty is from their latest album Aa’tareeq, released in 2009. I’ll let the music talk for itself now.

Rachid Taha – Ach Adani

I’m sure you know about Ya Rayah. What you don’t know is Rachid Taha’s Diwan was an absolute masterpiece. Every single song is different and unique in its own way. Arch Adani happens to be one of my favorites. Diwan was released back in 1998 and is still considered his best work to this day. At least in my opinion, it is.

Egyptian Project – Soufi

These guys are getting popular already, finally introducing some quality fusion. Their music is dreamy and atmospheric. The instruments are almost 100% oriental. You can’t help but admire the high quality production.

Le Trio Joubran – Masar

Le Trio Joubran are Samir, Adnan, and Wissam. Three brothers from Palestine who amazingly play Oud. I was introduced to this band by a friend last year and I had a great time playing their music on a Friday morning with a cup of green tea (like a true hipster!) Inspirational, dreamy, and atmospheric.

Faudel – La Valse 

From Algeria; the hometown of  Raï, comes Faudel; a young enthusiastic Raï singer. He’s way less known than Cheb Mami and Cheb Khaled for example but I find his performance absolutely admirable. Faudel appeared with Rachid Taha and Cheb Khaled in their famous concert 1,2,3 Soleil performed in Paris in 1998.

Soap Kills – Wahch

Soap Kills is a Lebanese band that is more alternative on the music spectrum. Music is mostly electronic. Yasmine Hamdan doing the lead vocals.The lyrics are so funny and sarcastic, as you’re about to discover.

Souad Massi – Ghir Enta

Algerian superstar Souad Massi is so chill and relaxing. I actually noticed she’s getting more and more popular in Cairo so I thought I might introduce one of my favorite tracks.