Reem Kelani was born in the UK, but raised in Kuwait by Palestinian parents, and has become an unofficial cultural ambassador for the art and poetry of Palestine. Time Out calls her voice an ‘awesome instrument…[Her songs] swerve between delicate, joyous, trancey, austere, boisterous and beautiful’.
Kelani’s debut album Sprinting Gazelle taps into generations of material: some ancient, some from the refugee camps of Lebanon and some from across the Diaspora. One song dates from 19th century Ottoman rule in Palestine; others evoke Bedouin tradition. She has wowed the crowds at Womad. One reviewer said of her music: ‘the sheer emotional power of it hits you right in the solar plexus’. Prepare to be overwhelmed.