Sama Band

13 May 2014

“We are united by our dream of change, more than by our love for music. Our music is just our modest contribution to the struggle against tyranny.” These are the words of one of the members of a Syrian band called Sama [“sky” in Arabic].

The band was founded in January 2012 by six friends, most of whom still live in Syria. They consider their art as a as a tool in a struggle, to fight against tyranny, and the occupation of the freedom required to create art.
Sama's music, grew alongside the revolution in Syria, and their first album, entitled “Raise your voice”, reflects the spirit of the early stages of the revolution.

The song "What's this joke?" for instance, was a mockery of the Assad's first speech, days after the outbreak of the uprising. While in “Sleeping to the sound of Kalashnikovs”, the band uses dark humor to depict the violence that is so rampant in Syria, it became the norm.

The members of the band have suffered the repression they sing about, most of them having faced detention. “After detention, that’s when we really started Sama”.

The members insist that Sama is not a professional band, but an initiative that emerged as a reaction to repression. “The technical aspects are probably our weakest point”, they admit. The fact that the band is forced to work underground, in a small room in a Damascus neighborhood under regime control, and without the proper recording equipment, has affected the quality of the sound. The increasing militarization and repression has also made it extremely difficult for the band members to meet in order to record their latest album.

“Some of our newest songs, which we haven’t managed to record, are being sung in certain inner circles, through informal exchange and sharing.”

Contrary to other musicians and artists, the Sama team believes that the revolution has not diverted from its original civic and peaceful roots, although the space for civic action is increasingly suffocated by the regime’s pressure and brutality.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad