The Maghreban connects with his melancholic self in Connection, from his upcoming sophomore album released under a new moniker. Watch the psychedelic visuals of new single “Waiting” out now.
In a past life, he was Dr Zygote, member of the hip-hop band, Strange U. Ayman Rostom now goes by the name of The Maghreban. Son of Egyptian and Saudi immigrants, the British artist’s name pays tribute to his roots and musical influences. After the release of 01deas back in 2018, his first full-length album under his new moniker, the Maghreban now announces his second LP Connections. This new direction taken with 01deas allowed the musician to deepdive into a new kind of British house embellished by sounds inspired by the African continent. Today, he unveils the music video for “Waiting” — directed by FakeSmile, a danceable vocal house track featuring Omar Lyefook. We get glimpses of the singer’s features through the interferences of screens mounted on an acidic industrial background, full of neon green and florescent pink.
In Connection, The Maghreban, who started working on it as soon as 01deas came out, explains, “there are Middle Eastern, jazz and techno influences in some of the songs”. However, some ideas seem to have arisen from within. “The vocal melody came to me in a dream.” Born from his subconscious, he remains humble, “I still worry that it’s from someone else’s tune and that I haven’t figured out who yet”. The Maghreban also attempted to infuse this deeply personal project with a hint of melancholy, “to make stuff that was a little more emotive”, as he says. “I was seeking and becoming more comfortable with connection whilst making it, rather than keeping myself to myself, like I have done in the past. But the flipside of that was a deeper awareness of grief and sorrow, which is why some of the tracks have an air of sadness.”
On this new album he’s not alone as Ayman also develops connections with other musicians. The Saudi-born Egyptian singer and activist Abdullah Miniawy lended his Sufism imbued voice to the single “Anzilliéé”. “Abdullah Miniawy has melancholy in his voice, and it complimented the track I gave him.” The saxophonist Idris Rahman, helped the Maghreban “flesh out the eastern jazz element” that can be heard throughout “Black Seed Oil” and “Celebratory Relapse”. The two had already worked together on Steve Reid’s “Lions Of Judah”. “I told him I like Tubby Hayes”, Rostom recalls. Lastly, the Nairobi-based Nah Eeto also participated in recording “Got Your Number”. “Nah Eeto is an incredible rapper who brought a lot of energy to the front of the album and inspired me to experiment with my production in new ways.”, he explains.
Connection out July 22nd.
Listen to “Waiting” in our afro + club playlist.