Mashrou Leila is not a band’s name. It is not a proper noun per se; Mashrou Leila is Arabic for an overnight project lusting out a microphone, a violin, a bass, two guitars, drums and keyboards. It started out as a music workshop at the American University of Beirut in 2008, an open platform for students of architecture and design,somewhere to experiment with sounds and make things audible. Haig Papazian, Carl Gerges, Hamed Sinno, Omaya Malaeb, Andre Chedid, Firas Abou Fakher and Ibrahim Badr have enjoyed this sound fetish savoring its façade of nonchalance and feeding on its lack of genre – sustaining their collective as Mashrou Leila, an experiment.
In the various performances, Mashrou Leila is a constant attempt to taste and produce. It is only when Mashrou Leila goes live, that you can actually catch a glimpse of Leila. As it talks to you of Beirut, the city that tastes of the absurd, the product of its day-to-day experiences, its stubborn security and lack of the latter, its musical bombshells, incoherent sexuality and thrusting pleasure…narcotic pain – as it brings forward hints of Arabic Tarab, rock, to folk pop, electro, you can see Leila in every man and woman in the silent- come-raving audience.