Our Debut Album is Here!
The Future is Multilingual ⚡ Our debut album, Chapter 1 (الباب الأول) is being released through Universal Music MENA on 5.18. Good things come to those who work their butts off amiright? The press around the release has been decent, but one article stands out from all the rest.
A heady sense of irreverence hangs over the debut album from Kuwaisiana, a US-based indie outfit led by Kuwaiti singer-songwriter +Aziz. The record’s wanton style-hopping and language-swapping has the sense not of willfully breaking the rules, but playfully bending them with a swagger and a smile.
It may be no coincidence the band was born in New Orleans, a notorious cultural melting pot strafing the Mississippi River and sitting at the end of the mythical Highway 61. Drawing fitfully from their surrounds, the septet’s sonics are bolstered by bursts of brass and the lilt of (apparently synthesized) accordion, conjuring a rootsy, Cajun vibe around +Aziz’s raw, DIY-rock approach.
Enjoy the listen for yourself on another level by taking a deep dive into the lyrics here! In any case, we’re just excited to place our stake in the musical landscape & shake things up a bit.
The launch party happened at Gasa Gasa (a New Orleans venue) on Saturday 5.19.18 for our album release party! Incredibly grateful for my bandmates & the faith of music communities across NOLA to the Arabian Peninsula. This is the debut work of Kuwaisiana, a full-bodied indie rock band with a world music influence.
Chapter 1 is split into an A(rabic) Side and English side. It offers 9 dynamic songs reflecting a dedication to unearthing an exciting global sound.
Music & Lyrics
Sink your teeth into Kuwaisiana’s Chapter 2 release, a 5-track exploration of Khaleeji and Arab-American identity. Working in Arabic and English, Kuwaisiana is a full-bodied band producing a danceable, dynamic sound that draws on world music and indie rock. Led by Kuwaiti singer-songwriter +Aziz, the 6-piece blends funk, rock, ska with New Orleanian jazz, adding a unique twist to what Indie Arab Rock can sound like.
Born out of +Aziz’s desire to explore parallels between American and Khaleeji cultures, Chapter 2 is the band’s followup EP to Chapter 1, which was released through Universal Music MENA. This 22-minute EP deepens the band’s exploration of the day-to-day experiences of Arab-American youth and the evolving viewpoints of Khaleejis living in the Arabian Peninsula. It will be self-released on Bandcamp and then published to streaming platforms.
Lyrically, +Aziz explores the cultures he knows so well through his metaphor-rich lyrics, which sustain a tension between conversational and a more evocative, poetic perspective. Kuwaisiana is making progress at a time when so much of the world is in flux. Give the EP a listen!
This EP was recorded at Marigny Studios in New Orleans (2021) right before +Aziz’s relocation The 25-minute EP presents a full-bodied sound, mixing funk, rock, ska with New Orleanian jazz, adding a unique twist to what Indie Arab Rock can sound like. As the pandemic wore us all down, the band leader relocated to Seattle to push forward with his vision.
“Kuwaisiana’s, Chapter 1, is an awesomely interesting release by an equally intriguing band from New Orleans with bridges to Kuwait who combine the vernacular of topics between there and the US southern region. They cross bread everything from Cajun to Pop music in their combination of styles that never leave out the two areas in which they’re grounded, yet they have a universal appeal in the process. Chapter 1 wins on that premise alone.” James McQuiston, Editor at NeuFutur
“Drawing fitfully from their surrounds, the septet’s sonics are bolstered by bursts of brass and the lilt of (apparently synthesized) accordion, conjuring a rootsy, Cajun vibe around +Aziz’s raw, DIY-rock approach. At the best moments, a barn-storming, street-party abandon overcomes these slightly flat, self-produced recordings… But there is a potent spice found amid this audio stew. Split into two “sides” — the first in Arabic, the second English — the lyrics on “Chapter 1” carry subtle weight as a reflection on the modern Arab experience.” Martin Wingham, Arab News
“Given the current banal state of popular music, an album and a band like Kuwaisiana are just the tonic that is needed… So here’s to Kuwaisiana for treading new ground and charting a new path. In a musical landscape that sometimes feels too cookie-cutter and too safe, Kuwaisiana are paving new ground, and hot damn, it is awe-inspiring.” Greg Robson, Step Inside This House