Hamed SinnoFrom the Beirut underground to the world stage.

Hamed SinnoFrom the Beirut underground to the world stage.

Hamed Sinno is the lead singer and lyricist of Mashrou’ Leila—the Beirut-based quintet that has crowdfunded its way to being the biggest indie pop band in the Arab world. Although Sinno says he has been known to spend weeks “on the couch binge-watching horrible television with the sole purpose of avoiding dealing with life,” Mashrou’ Leila’s music very much suggests that he spends most of his time doing the opposite. Lyrics—sung in Arabic—on the band’s latest album, Ibn El Leil, reference Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, Abu Nawas and Sappho, and most definitely confront life’s iniquities: from homophobia and political oppression to misogyny and toxic masculinity.

Where do you write most of your songs?
Planes, trains or any other space that I can’t exit but still feel...

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