Palestinian rapper Dave Kirreh ‘finds the light’ with latest single
Sami, available in the UAE now, asks one to ‘rise above’
Somedays we all need a pep talk (especially given the last few months!) and when it arrives in musical form, the uplifting effect can be transformative. It is evoking such a message producer, lyricist and performer Dave Kirreh hopes to achieve with his latest single Sami. The composition represents a journey, both musically and metaphorically, says the Palestinian Universal Music MENA-signed artist. For the Arabic rapper, Sami is about hope and creating light at the end of the tunnel, which is a sentiment to which we can all relate.
Loosely translated, the title means to ‘transcend’ or to ‘rise above’ in Arabic. And the anthemic beat and lyrics live up to its name. The track bursts to life in a riot of burbling basslines, sirens and screams before Kirreh breaks into action, passionately telling his story, his tale of hope and redemption. After battling health issues for years, Sami is the sound of Kirreh reclaiming his love for life. He’s hoping you follow him.
“I dedicate this song to anyone who is stuck in that dark place. Trust me, I feel you and I know how dark and cold it is there. Talk to me if you are reading this,” the hip-hop enthusiast said when we spoke.
And as well as battling physical health issues, Sami also covers a wide range of mental wellbeing themes, a topic which is increasingly becoming mainstream thanks to major personalities sharing their experiences. You only have to look at the conversation surrounding the #FreeBritney movement to witness how it is sweeping the world.
“Loss, betrayal, failure, addiction and health consumed me for years,” said Kirreh on his inspiration for Sami. “I was in a very dark place. I lost hope at some point in my life. I was looking for answers everywhere and never found any. I was surrounded by hypocrites throughout the years. But now I look down and embrace that. I embrace every second of those times for they made me who I am today. One thing I know; I always kept fighting.”
A visceral appetite for storytelling was immediately apparent when listening to the Jerusalem native. As well as his voyage of discovery, however, we wondered if he had advice for those at the low ebb in which he found himself.
“Knowing the dark is critical to appreciating the light, I would say not to focus on the global picture but to deal with things one step at a time, whether it is physical or mental thinking. Never stop believing in yourself and that tomorrow can be better.”
Part of the new wave of regional rappers, Kirreh is enthusiastic about the future of the genre. “The diversity of Middle Eastern music that is being released is very positive,” he said. “Especially the Palestinian rap scene. Artists like Muhammad Ramadan are amazing. I would love to do something crazy with him.”
Aside from releasing Sami, signing with Universal was an obvious recent highlight, but so too was getting in shape Kirreh said. He even gave himself a hashtag to spur on the personal fitness motivation and encourage others.
-“#davezchallenge was a challenge for body transformation that was shared with my followers. As well as helping me, it influenced a lot of people to challenge themselves and become a better version of themselves physically and mentally.”
Not resting on his laurels, Kirreh has spent time away from the spotlight writing new tunes, although the desire to perform is, as you’d imagine, a burning issue.
“Covid has to come to an end!” he said. “The world needs to be able to continue attending more great music and live shows. I’m hopeful that my music will continue reaching out to more fans and audiences worldwide.”