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Saint Levant Dedicated His Entire Coachella Debut to Gaza

It's always Free Palestine.

Jerusalem-born Gaza-raised musician Saint Levant made his debut at Coachella this weekend with a powerful performance that resonated far beyond Indio Valley. The 23-year-old artist took to the stage, introducing himself as a product of Jerusalem and the heartbeat of Gaza, dedicating his entire set to the resilient spirit of the Palestinians currently living through a genocide in the Occupied Strip. Yet, despite the buzz surrounding his performance, reports surfaced that footage of Saint Levant’s set vanished from post-festival broadcasts. Nonetheless, the impact of his impassioned tribute won’t soon be forgotten.

Born Marwan Abdelhamid, the California-based multilingual crooner, who is French and Algerian on his maternal side and Palestinian and Serbian from his father’s side, has emerged as a fervent advocate for Palestinians, shedding light on the ongoing conflict’s harrowing toll, previously using his first-ever television appearance on French television show Quotidien as an opportunity to shed light on illegal Israeli occupation. 

Following in the footsteps of the trailblazing Elyanna, a Palestinian-Chilean songstress, Abdelhamid continues to amplify Palestinian voices on the global stage. Elyanna made history last year as the first Palestinian and the first artist to deliver a set entirely in Arabic at Coachella, paving the way for artists like Saint Levant to raise awareness of the staggering human cost inflicted by the occupation, with over 33,000 Palestinian lives lost and countless others displaced in Gaza since Oct. 7. 

The artist performed an array of his signature hits, including Nails, From Gaza, With Love, and a very poignant rendition of Very Few Friends. With each lyric, he painted a vivid picture of the Palestinian experience, touching on themes of longing, resilience, and the harsh realities of exile.

“For the past six months, the people of Gaza have endured unspeakable atrocities,” he proclaimed addressing the crowd. “And for 75 years, Palestine has borne the heavy burden of occupation. Tonight, it’s not just me on this stage– it’s the entire Arab world standing in solidarity.”

In a move to enhance Arab representation at the predominantly Western festival, Abdelhamid also featured another talent from Abu Recordings, the Egyptian singer-songwriter Bayou.

Notably, Saint Levant was not alone in his call for justice at the annual music festival. American rapper Tyler, the Creator proudly adorned Palestine and Congo flag pins during his headlining performance, while singer Victoria Monet echoed the sentiment, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the genocide of Palestinians during her own soul-stirring set.

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