Issam Alnajjar's Arabic Music Is Taking TikTok and the World By Storm
Photo: Julian Cassady
Though we were all shocked by the impact of TikTok on the music industry, we may have underestimated just how much power it has in connecting and globalizing the industry beyond borders. There is no better example of this than 17-year-old Issam Alnajjar and his growing catalog of Arabic-sung viral hits.
Alnajjar's breakout hit, “Hadal Ahbek," according to his TikTok video, it is the "first ever Arabic song that is number #1 globally." "Hadal Ahbek" means "I’ll keep loving you," as the song's lyrics focus on comforting a loved one and trying express just how unconditional your love for them is. The positive, reassuring energy of the song is clear to any listener, regardless of whether they understand Arabic. Sonically, "Hadal Ahbek" is a pop tune, driven by an acoustic guitar strummed upward on the upbeat and lifting our spirits up with it. It also has an infectious, anthemic chorus with a sing-along melody, "Ra-pa-pa-pa-ra-pa-ra-pa," that invites all listeners to participate.
Since its release less than a year ago, "Hadal Ahbek" has accumulated over 14.7 million Spotify streams and over 92 million views on Youtube. Quickly rising up the ranks of Spotify’s Global Viral and US Viral charts as well as Shazam Global Chart, it's no wonder Alnajjar's fanbase has grown so quickly. It has also charted around the world, serving as a big break for the talented teen hailing out of Jordan. And rightfully so, as this was only Alnajjar's second release, the first being a bluesy, English song called "One Of A Kind."
Now Allnajjar is back with "Mn Gheirik Enti," the highly-anticipated follow-up to his breakout viral hit. Released via Universal Arabic Music / Republic Records, the song's title translates to "Without You," a fitting descriptor for a song whose emphatic emotional expression and ensuing sense of turmoil transcends language barriers.
Whether it's TikTok or a global pandemic, or a mixture of the two, that has further connected all of us across this floating globe, there is no better time to burst our music bubbles and open the door to a more globalized music industry. After all, music is something we all need and experience similarly, regardless of where it is from or what language it is in.
Listen to "Mn Gheirik Enti" below: