Mashrou’ Leila need no further introduction. Famed for their anti-establishment and pro LGBT lyrics, the controversial Lebanese indie band have received global critical-acclaim and toured the world since their inception in 2008.
The band—and particularly their openly gay lead singer Hamed Sinno—have become an emblem and a voice for the post-Arab spring disillusioned Arab youth driven by passionate commitment to freedom and equality.
While sexuality is still a strong taboo in the region, and as gay people still face extreme penalties, Mashrou’ Leila have nonetheless created an open discourse, encouraging young people to speak and fight for their rights.
As the band are currently recording a new album in Beirut, the boys shared the songs that inspire them.
Sophie – It’s OK to cry
Because it’s OK to cry.
Irma Thomas – Anyone Who Knows What Love Is
Because I’m in love with Irma Thomas’s silky voice.
The Blaze – Territory
Because this song and its music video deliver the emotional, human, and primal ‘Territory’, with a deft touch that is both caring and engrossing.
Roisin Murphy – Ten Miles High
Because I’m a big fan of the restraint in this song, and how it flirts with pushing over. And her voice is phenomenal.
Anderson Paak – Til It’s Over
Because having Spike Jonze and Anderson Paak collaborate for Apple’s Homepod Video, and have FKA Twigs star in it is a genius idea.
Troye Sivan – My My My!
Because the video captures the upbeat lustful mood of the song.
Khruangbin – Maria También
Because the video for this hypnotic instrumental track from the Texan trio takes you to the world of women in pre 1979 revolution Iranian pop music.