Fueled by a global span of influences and inspiration, Out Of Nations is a band that looks to break down the preconceived limitations of music and geography. The six-piece band provides an eclectic mix of electronica, funk, pop, jazz, rock, and spins elements of traditional music from Latin and Arab countries. The band is based out of the artistically-surging Berlin, Germany. With no two members sharing a nationality, Out of Nations look to combine a wide range of creative influences with a forward-thinking touch. Their first single which is a fresh twist on Egyptian classic “Sellem Alay,” briefly titled “Sellem” has already garnered thousands of plays and created a buzz across social media, with two more tracks debuting soon.
Out Of Nations is a dream for a future world where people take each other as humans before they see each other as members of a certain nation. Lety ElNaggar (reeds), Jonas Cambien (keys), Christian Tschuggnall (drums), Ayman Mabrouk (percussion), Charis Karantzas (guitar), Thomas Stieger(bass), and Khalil Chahine (producer, engineer), connected on a musical level before they realized that each one of them carried a different passport.
“Nationality seems so important – having lived in four countries where I’m immediately recognized as foreign (including the US where I was born), it’s one of the first questions people ask me,” explains co-founder, composer, and reeds player Lety, “I’m American but I’m also Egyptian and Mexican so my answer is usually a bit complicated, and on the Out Of Nations team we all have a multi-layered answer – no one lives in the city they were born in, so everyone is a migrant, but we also still hold on to some passport that designates where we can live, work, and travel. We’re living in an age where we can share information and transfer money at the speed of light, so we hope the diversity of our music can draw attention to the idea that these kinds of restrictions on people’s movement and global status based on categories are outdated for the times we’re living in.”
Khalil Chahine, producer and band co-founder, enthusiastically describes how their three singles span their diverse sounds, “We move from sounds of rural Egypt in ‘Sellem’ to rural Latin America in ‘Fiebre,’ and then to ‘Quest,’ which combines Arab and Latin elements with funk and cinematic orchestration to give a more complete picture of our potential soundscapes.” “Sellem” takes a local rural Egyptian folk song and re-interprets it with modern production techniques and style, while keeping the original spirit intact. Their next single “Fiebre” featuring Juan Ospina of M.A.K.U. Soundsystem, which comes out August 25th, is a reflection of Lety’s experience having listened to Mexican/Latin music as a child and performing with bands like MAKU in New York. The following single is named “Quest” and is inspired by a single melody composed on clarinet and developed into many musical scenes, taking listeners on a journey through different cultures with a cinematic touch.
The recording process was also a journey in itself, with sessions in Brooklyn, Berlin, Beirut, and Cairo. Though they originally planned to record at Egypt’s renowned Studio Layla, a fire unfortunately consumed the studio on the very first day of their session. Lety explains, “within 12 hours the studio had burned down, suffering a total loss, including a rare Neve mixer and countless other pieces of high-end equipment. It was unbelievably shocking and sad, but what really amazed us was the effort of the Layla team and musicians to accommodate us, find another place and time to record on short notice, and help us get the optimum result from our trip. This is how we found Resaleh studios, which ended up having a wonderful room for string ensemble recording.”
The band takes their craft beyond recorded music, unifying their artistic styles and visions in their performance and videos. Sleek futuristic fashion and striking cinematography make this team of artists a group to look out for across mediums. Be on the lookout for more music and videos coming from Out of Nations soon.
Live, Out Of Nations looks to tour in 2018. Their performances invite audiences on a journey through tribal-futuristic blends of Funk, Arab, Latin, and Electronic moods — an alternative-world soundtrack to match the visual wonderland they create on stage. Out Of Nations breathes new life into familiar genres by playing original, danceable World Music rooted in pop, funk & jazz.