Ghalia Benali, Singer, Writer, Composer, Dancer, Visual Artist, Painter & Actress. Her music has been noted for its attribution to multiple genres and defining contemporary Arabic music. Benali’s southern Tunisian upbringing and fascination with Middle Eastern and Arab legendary artists is palpable in her music style. Her voice has been dubbed as multicultural and polymorphic.
Born in Belgium, and raised in Tunisia, Benali embarked on her music career in the early 90s, during the up rise of the world music phenomena which exposed her to different cultures, essences and philosophies. After finishing her studies at the Institute Saint-Luc of Graphic Arts, soon she became a widely recognized songstress in Europe and in 2012 she made her first debut on an Arab stage.
Known for her magical and sensuous voice that emerged from the Arab world and has been conquering the music scene ever since. Blending different types of music, connecting different cultures, reviving the old and rooting the new are a natural outcome of mixing the two extremes she lived through.
“Wind’s Daughter”, “Ambassador of the Arab Culture”, “Om Kalthoum’s Granddaughter”, are just some of the titles she was given during her path. Holding concerts all around the world, Benali was rated among the 1st Ten “Most Fondly Remembered Live Performances of 2013” by The New York Times.
Her artistic balance is rich with over seven Music Albums and many different collaborations, four Movies, one TV series, Musical and Paintings’ Exhibitions. Benali received the “World of Music Award” for the best world music song from The British Independent Organization in 2008 and the best actress award in Spain in June 2016 by Women for Africa Foundation.
Translated as connected, is Benali’s next music 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 Spirit, that’s led by trumpeter Laurent Blondiau with the excellent oud of Moufadhel Adhoum. It is considered her most Sufi and spiritually oriented work…more info
GHALIA BENALI QUARTET
Ghalia Benali has always been fascinated by Om Kalthoum, the most prominent of all Egyptian and Arab female singers. She decided to embrace the love the Arab world has for her music icon and pay tribute as a loyal granddaughter. Instead of giving the audience a reiterated performance, she created her own rendition of the renowned music that captured her music style, Tunisian essence and spirituality…more info
AL PALNA & THE INDIAN HADRA
Ghalia Benali has always been spellbound by the Indian culture and its visionary art. In 1991, Benali met sitar player, Bert Cornelis. After a long jamming session, the song “Bharat” came to life, which evolved over the years to set the tone of “Al Palna” album… songs
Later on, Al Plana was reborn in Egypt as ‘The Indian Hadra’ with violin player, Ayman Asfour, and Arabic percussionist, Ayman Mabrouk. The Indian sitar and tablas, while chanting Sufi Arabic words took the audience on a divine journey…more info
ROMEO & LEILA
In 2003, Benali started working on a multidisciplinary project that included music, story-telling, dancing and graphics. “Romeo & Leila” is a Ghalia Benali autobiography; for every mythical character mentioned in the fictional tale refers to someone she met in her real life journey. Facing different cultures, beliefs and social pressures, her departure was anything but mundane… more info
ALLEGORY OF DESIRE
Collaboration with Zafiro Torna and the vocal consort of Berlin. Inspired by The Song of Songs, a series of lyrical poems organized as a dialogue between a young woman and her lover in the last section of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, the Allegory of Desire came to life.
The music involved single voiced madrigals accompanied by instruments, vocal duets and trios, a women’s choir and polyphonic settings by composers such as Hildegard of Bingen, De Machaut, Dunstable, Agricola, Lassus, Grandi, Sances, Monteverdi, Schütz, Buxtehude and J. Ch.
The project created an inspiring dialogue between cultures while narrating texts by Sufi poets such as Rabaa Al-Adawia and a young aspiring generation of poets such as Egyptian Abdallah Ghoneem and Mohamed Zakaria. Lyrics were written and composed by Benali herself. The international cast took their project to Mechelen, Berlin, Hamburg, Nürnberg, Winterthur, Sevilla and Vilnius, and an album was released in 2016 by Warner classics…songs
WILD HARISSA & NADA
While experiencing with acting and cinema, the songstress released her first two albums, “Wild harissa”, collaboration with Timna in 2001, and “Nada” in 2002…songs
Hoping to present the music of Arab cabaret to the Europeans and remain in touch with her origins, Benali performed with the trio “Kafichantas” with lute player, Moufadhel Adhoum, and percussionist, Azeddine Jazouli. The project was a mean to take westerners on a journey of Arabic culture.
- ALLEGORY OF DESIRE
- ARTE BIENNALE-VENICE 2017
- DISCOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY
- DRAW ME A DOLL
- EARLY LIFE & CAREER
- GHALIA BENALI by EMAD FOUAD
- GHALIA BENALI SINGS OM KALTHOUM
- Ghalia’s EVENTS
- INDIAN HADRA
- MUSIC VENTURES
- ONE HOUR BEFORE GODS AWAKE
- SLIDES OF LIFE
- Songs (Araftu/river)
- The Fairytale
- VINYAN NOTEBOOK