Merch Ideas Worth Exploring: Pelicans & Arabic Typography!
It’s always fun to develop merch ideas and concepts to go along with the music. Strong graphic iconography is an important band of any band! In any case, here are various stickers, t-shirts and presentations of merchandising we’ve done.
Most of it is from shows, but I’ve also included some items that get less airtime since you’re already here! You can check out our merch on Bandcamp.
These pelicans with the Kuwaiti Towers on them are the only circular graphic we actually printed on stickers. While most of them were English, we did have them made in Arabic text as well.
As for the “Got Islamophobia?” not a ton of design thinking went into those. I made and printed those as one of the first awareness-building tactics in New Orleans. It really paid off as people commented on them, tore them down, etc. I’m here for all the reactions!
My creative path is in many ways defined by my sensitivity to the parallels that exist between Khaleeji and Western culture, but Kuwaisiana is anchored in my relationship with Matthieu, the band’s drummer. I should also add that I came to him with a bassist, accordionist and trombone player, all of whom eventually lost interest in the project.
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