Inspirational Boston-based indie band “John Lebanon” released a new EP titled – “ Wala Ana”

The three songs included capture the struggle and bravery of Lebanese protesting the decadent and glutinous leadership that has led Beirut to a near total financial, social and political collapse. The EP released on January 24 2020 sequels the single titled – “Kellon Ya3ne Kellon”  released on October 28 2019.

The sonorous soundtracks with strong meaningful lyrics include sounds of protest and samples that were recorded and transferred using Whatsapp, the phone application that was initially taxed in October 2019 triggering a wave of protest across the nation. Recordings form protesters on the ground and protesters living abroad were used. “ Wala Ana”, crafted exclusively from Whatsapp voice notes emphasizes the opposition to brain drain and the desire of Lebanese entrepreneurs and students to stay in Lebanon and work in their native motherland.

 “ Farah El Thawra “ tells the story of optimism and love in time of revolution. It includes popular revolutionary chants that dominated the protests.

The soundtracks are released in Arabic language but have French and English lyrics as well.

This music represents the voice of many who are desperately wishing for better days. It says exactly what is at the heart this revolution – accountability. 

In “ Kellon Yahne Kellon” , the beat at the beginning takes its time to form to represent the different communities in Lebanon and to signify the momentum built during the 2019 October Lebanese revolution. Some parts of the song’s lyrics translate to: 

A caged bird sings, I need to break free
And the bird was starved from exploitation and misery
Until it became so skinny
And was able to sneak between the prison bars and fly out
It sings freedom, accountability for all
The bird is now stronger and its size grows larger everyday
It sings: I will never go back to that cage
I am free
Accountability for all
All of them means all of them.

Stream the EP on Spotify here:

While discussing the motivation behind the EP and the message that the music is meant to convey, the band spokesperson affirmed that all everyone wants now is progress and real reform. 

The lyrics and composition/recording were done by Roy and a collaboration of passionate musicians from New England with sounds and samples performed by friends from Beirut, Europe (France, Switzerland, Germany and Ireland), and Dubai. The artwork for the project was done by artists Amy Chiniara, Noémie Honein and Raphaelle Macaron.

Watch the video for the title track here. It’s made by Farid Salame with voices and contributions made by the diaspora around the world.

The album cover art is illustrated by Lebanese designer Amy Chiniara.

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