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It was during the revolution that people from all over the Middle East felt connected on a spiritual level no matter which country they came from.

Tunisian-born and Brussels-based, Ghalia Benali, felt an otherworldly homogeneity with freedom seekers miles away and it felt as if she was destined for her new career venture.

MwSOUL, translated as connected, was Benali’s next music project. It is considered her most Sufi and spiritually oriented work. Most of the lyrics were written by her, yet the “MwSOUL” hit was written by the aspiring Egyptian poet, Abdallah Ghoneem.

It all started during the revolution when Egypt shut down the internet and Benali lost connection with the youth. Ghoneem sent her a poem about souls and hearts intertwining, regardless of their inability to physically meet. It was about the silent yet ever present connection between two beings, the past and future and life and death.

The songstress tried to understand her own emotions regarding deaths, crimes and conspiracies and seek the true essence of the events. To her, freedom was never about over throwing political figures. Going through a personal revolution, Benali immediately started recording the powerful poem tackling the individual’s path towards liberty.

MwSOUL is a project that blends classic and contemporary Arab lyrics. The music using breath (Brass) and beat (Percussion) was written by Benali, referring to the soul and heart, and arranged by Belgian group, Mâäk, with whom Benali has been collaborating for over 20 years, and led by trumpeter Laurnet Bondiau with the excellent oud of Moufadhel Adhoum.

Benali graces the stage in the MwSOUL performance and creates a pulse that is organically provided by oud, flute, trumpet, sax, sousaphone & drums, along with her dark and commanding voice and horns that add punchy rhythmic riffs. From moments of calm voice tagged solely with oud or sousaphone to full-throated vocal notes, the performance is a roller coaster of beats and emotions. The album is a production of MWSOUL Art Foundation in collaboration with Met-X, recorded with W.E.R.F label and released in Belgium on 5th of June 2017.

Musicians & Instrumentation

  • Ghalia Benali (Vocals)
  • Laurent Blondiau (Trumpets)
  • Jeroen Van Herzeele (Saxes)
  • Quentin Manfroy (Flutes)
  • Michel Massot (Sousaphone)
  • Moufadhel Adhoum (Oud)
  • Stefan Pougin (Drums)
  • Pascale Snoeck (Sound Engineer)



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