Alaa Wardi and Arabic A Cappella

May 19, 2011

Singer Alaa Wardi, who has previously appeared on Trends, is again popping up on our Trends Dashboard this wek. Two of his videos are among the Most Shared in Egypt, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia today. Both songs, which are in Arabic, were posted in just the past week and call to mind a popular video trend we've seen in the United States.

Using only his mouth, body, and even his beard, Wardi creates a heavily layered, one-man a capella performance that, through elaborate editing, is both very complex and yet completely fluid.

The first is a cover of the song "Fi Hagat" by Lebanese singer Nancy Ajram:

The second is a song titled, "Ma3gool."

The setup will seem very familiar to many of us in the U.S. and perhaps other English-speaking countries. This past fall, YouTube singer Mike Tompkins became very popular for his pop song covers, which were done in a similar style and drew millions of views. While there had been others before him, Tompkins helped spawn a trend of edited-a capella that many other talented singers joined in on. But Alaa Wardi's new videos might be the first instance of the genre sung strictly in Arabic.