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  • The Camp: Ramy Essam Collaborates with Legendary Musician PJ Harvey

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    ‘Voice of the Revolution’, Ramy Essam, has had an eventful few years since his song, Irhal, became the adoptive anthem for the January 25th Revolution.

    Having been given safe city residence in Sweden in 2014, Essam has had his name on no less than six releases  and has also contributed to compilation albums, The Rough Guide to Arabic Revolution and Songs From a Stolen Spring - but his latest musical feat might just be his biggest yet.

    Set to be released digitally on Friday 7 June, The Camp sees Essam collaborate with legendary British musician, PJ Harvey, with the aim of raising awareness and support for  displaced children in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. The video for the guitar-driven track uses imagery from acclaimed photojournalist Giles Duley’s upcoming book, I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See, alongside footage of Harvey and Essam recording the track.

    For those that aren’t aware of PJ Harvey, the 47 year old has been one of England’s most eclectic, versatile and acclaimed since she debuted in 1988. In an expansive career, she has won The Mercury Prize twice (the only artist to do so) and has eight Brit Award nominations and seven Grammy nominations to her name. In 1992, Rolling Stone  announced her as the magazine’s Best New Artist and Best Singer-Songwriter, and she was awarded Artist of the Year in 1995. 

    While she might not be as prolific as she once was, Harvey is still very much active and her discography dips in and out of everything from art rock and punk blues, to folk and electronic music and has come to be known for addressing dense issues. Her award-winning 2011 album, Let England Shake, was named Best Album of the Year by 16 different publications and hailed from all quarters for elegantly tackling the subject of war. ”Francis Ford Coppola can lay claim to the war movie, Ernest Hemingway the war novel,” read one review. “Polly Jean Harvey as claimed the war album.”
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    By Haisam Awad

     

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