Sofasonic Playlist: KHYAM ALLAMI

As part of the lead-up to Sofasonic Festival, a weekend of online events happening 17-19 July 2020, we’re releasing an array of playlists on Spotify that have been carefully curated by artists & friends of the festival for your listening pleasure.



Following playlists by Radwan Moumneh, Mark Titchner, QUEEF, Gazelle Twin & Matt Ridout – here’s a brand new playlist for you courtesy of long-time friend of the festival, Khyam Allami.  


KHYAM ALLAMI, is an Iraqi-British multi-instrumentalist musician/composer/researcher and founder of Nawa Recordings. Nawa is an independent label focused on releasing new music from the Arab world, and features some of the most creative, independent and forward thinking artists. With this in mind, we invited Khyam to be a guest curator for Supersonic 2017, he of course introduced us to a whole array of striking new artists, united by their exploration of genre-defying, improvisation-based craftwork.


Aside from his label work, Khyam is a formidable musician and composer with a continually growing international reputation. Despite only taking up the oud – his principal instrument – in his twenties, Allami rapidly became a performer of international renown. He is currently undertaking a PhD in composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire focusing on contemporary and experimental Arabic music.


Khyam will be joining a panel discussion this weekend for Sofasonic Festival alongside Paula Rebellato (Rakta) + Mariano De Melo (Deaf Kids) based in Brazil, Franklin James Fisher (Algiers) + Will Brooks (Dalek) in the US, Khyam Allami in the UK. This session will be hosted by Jasmine Ketibuah-Foley, exploring how musicians respond to social and political unrest.

Keep an eye out for ‘Looking For Today‘ on our programme!



Khyam has selected a divine mix of music for this Sofasonic Playlist series – take a listen…



A statement from Khyam:

“Recently, whilst scrolling through my digital music library, I was surprised to notice the number of new releases by Arabic musicians that I had been listening to. I was listening to these albums so regularly that I didn’t even notice how many there were. This is the kind of perspective that lockdown made me lose.

I spent all of the lockdown alone in Berlin, in my own self-isolated world, lost between my twitter feed, online newspapers, and despair at the state of the world. After the murder of George Floyd and the eruption of racism-focused discussions, I wanted to put together a mix to celebrate these artists and their work, I wanted to stand proud as a fan of my contemporaries.

Supersonic is a special “place” for me, one of my spiritual homes. Performing and attending the festival has always helped me grow. At SS 2009 I performed one of my first solo Oud shows. SS 2017 I guest-curated performances from artists associated with my label Nawa Recordings, so sharing this digital celebration via the digital incarnation of SS 2020, especially in the current toxic climate, feels like the perfect combination. To all my friends across the Arab world, to my friends in Birmingham, and to anyone else who wants to ‘listen-in’ (as Arthur Jafa says), enjoy”




Stay tuned – more delectable music selections coming from Supersonic artists & friends soon…