Music Box season 2, session #12: Tamino

Belgian-Egyptian artist came to London to perform three tracks from his debut EP

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Tuesday 05 September 2017 12:58
Music Box Session #12: Tamino

Music Box is back!

Over the summer we were busy lining up artists to perform stripped-down sessions in our tiny studio.

I wanted to begin season 2 with Tamino, who is, I think, the artist I've been most excited about in 2017. We were the first English-language publication to write about him, and once you watch his Music Box session hopefully you'll understand the enthusiasm.

This 20-year-old Belgian-Egyptian artist grew up on the Serge Gainsbourg and Tom Waits records in his mother's collection, played in punk bands at school, and eventually landed on the sound he has today.

Inspired by his own grandfather, renowned actor and musician Moharam Fouad, he explained: "There's a certain kind of raw emotion in his singing, and in Arab music in general.

"Even when the tunes are kind of cheesy, there's always something real - something sincere - embedded in the voice. Complete surrender, much less calculated than most Western music."

I stand by what I wrote about him back when we premiered an acoustic version of his song "Habibi":

"The voice is the thing. There's a richness and weight to it that seems steeped in the culture of his Egyptian heritage, a solemnness and intensity that belies his age, and an astonishing vocal range that goes from a sombre, deep moan to a deeply affecting falsetto cry."

Travelling from Belgium to our offices in London, he performed three tracks from his astonishing self-titled debut EP: "Indigo Night", "Habibi" and "Cigar".

We hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to: Tamino and his team, James Parrish, Sennheiser, and The Independent video team

Music Box season 2 continues every Tuesday at 12pm

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