Yemen’s Influence on Gulf Songs [Archives:1998/19/Culture]

May 11 1998

Saleh Abdubaqi, musician
For a long time on the southern Yemen, the influence of the traditional Sanaani song held sway with its reliance on the rhythms of the lute and little drums. Then singers and musicians began to be influenced by Indian and Egyptian music through the respective films of these two countries, which were shown in just about every cinema.
Almost every artist founded a special style for himself to add new vision and artistic objectivity to the musical movement in that part of Yemen through the songs of Ahmed Al-Qomandan, the founder of the Lahaji artistic revival, Saleh Naseeb and Saleh Mahdi.
Through the production of gramophone records in Aden, modern Yemeni singing styles became widely spread in the Gulf countries. Thus, the Yemeni song with all of its creative forms was the pioneer during that golden age all over Yemen and the Gulf.
It is worth mentioning some singers like Abdu and Talal Maddah, who is originally from Hadhramaut. They were influenced by Yemeni singing; Talal Maddah performed the song ‘Ala Shaneh’ or ‘For his sake.’ This song was written by the Yemeni poet Mahmoud Al-Salami of Lahaj, but Talal Maddah modified the tune.
The Qatari singer Mohammed Al-Baloshi performed the song ‘Robama Melleit Minni Yarashiq’ or ‘maybe you got fed up o slender one,’ and modified its tune. This song was originally written by the lyricist Abdulqader Al-Kaf.
Thus, Gulf artists have become well known thanks to these Yemeni songs. They have misled the Arab people by laying claim to these Yemeni songs. This makes our creative artists and poets resentful, since there is no union to protect their works and claim their rights. It is as if the Gulf countries want to say that there is no Yemeni art and creativity.
It should be said that nobody can suppress or ignore Yemeni art and singing. It is the property of all Arabs, provided they acknowledge its origin. Gulf artists should. Saudi artists who are originally from Yemen such as Mohammed attribute these Yemeni songs to their original composers, taking into consideration the literary traditions. A union of Yemeni artists must be established to protect the rights of creative Yemeni artists.
Finally, all people will undoubtedly recognize that Yemeni songs, in spite of the piracy, are the original and Gulf songs emanate from Yemeni art.
_______________________ Yemeni Singers in Gulf Countries  
Ahmed Bin Ahmed Qassem:
Singer & Composer, 
originally from Aden, 
started career there, perfomred 
and made records in Kuwait
Mohammed Murshed Naji:
MP, singer & Composer, originally from Aden, started career in Aden, worked occasionally in Saudi Arabia and perfomred in Kuwait. 
Mohammed Saad Abdullah:
Singer & Composer, originally from Aden, started career there, perfomed and made records in Saudi Arabia & Kuwait.
Ahmed Fat’hi:
Singer & Composer, orginally 
from Hodeida, started career in Hodeida & Aden, live in Sharaja, UAE since ’80s, established a 
music institute in UAE. 
Fursan Khaleefa:
Singer and Composer, 
originally from Aden, 
started career in Aden, 
lives in Sharaja, United 
Arab Emirates.
Mohammed Abdu:
Singer and Composer, 
originally from Hodeida, 
now Saudi National, 
started career in 
Saudi Arabia. 
Abdulrab Idress:
Singer & Composer, 
originally from Hadhramaut, Kuwaiti national, Ph.D. in music, lives in Kuwait.
Abu Bakr Salim Belfaqeeh:
Singer, originally from Hadhramaut, started his career in Aden, now a Saudi national living in Saudi Arabia.
Talal Maddah:
Singer & Composer, originally 
from Hadramaut, Saudi 
national living and 
performing in Saudi Arabia.