Coming from the small town of Tell Tamer near the city of Ra’s al-‘Ayn in the northeastern region of Syria, Omar Souleyman has become a world sensation with live performances all over the world.
The Dabke musician started his career in 1994, as a wedding singer for local couples, specializing in songs that go together with the Arabic lineup dance, Dabke, a favorite at weddings and celebrations.
Claims say that around 500 albums have been released under his name, most of them live performances recorded at weddings and presented to the bride and groom, which were later copied and sold at local kiosks.
In 2011, Omar fled to Turkey after the Syrian crisis broke out, where he found it hard to find performing gigs. However, Souleyman didn’t give up his passion and continued writing songs and music, which miraculously made him an overnight international sensation.
Souleyman’s western debut dates back to 2007, when U.S. label Sublime Frequencies released a collection of his work entitled Highway to Hassake, and later on Dabke 2020 in 2009 and Jazeera Nights in 2010.
Today Souleyman’s music is being played by international DJs, and he is performing on some of the biggest stages in the world. In 2011 he recorded three remixes for Björk’s Biophilia, all found on the second disc of her Crystalline Series, and In December 2013, he performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway.