Hijabi heavy metal trio to make Indonesia’s debut at Glastonbury

All-female Indonesian heavy metal band Voice of Baceprot performs in New York as part of its US tour in August 2023. (Voice of Baceprot)
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Updated 21 June 2024

Hijabi heavy metal trio to make Indonesia’s debut at Glastonbury

  • Voice of Baceprot will play Glastonbury’s Woodsies stage on June 28
  • Hijabi trio has toured Europe, US, and was named to Forbes Asia’s 30-Under-30 list

JAKARTA: Hijabi heavy metal band Voice of Baceprot is set to become the first Indonesian act to perform at the UK’s iconic Glastonbury Festival next week, marking another milestone in the all-female trio’s trailblazing career.

More than a decade after first emerging, Voice of Baceprot was named in Forbes Asia’s 30-Under-30 list just last month. The group has toured Europe and the US, and released its debut album last year.

With lyrics that address issues from gender inequality to climate change, members of the group from Garut, West Java said on Friday that they hope to help improve the world for future generations through their music.

“We care about what’s happening around us, that’s why we make a lot of songs about what we ourselves experience, see, and hear. We only want the world that we live in to become a better place for the generations after us,” Firda “Marsya” Kurnia, who is the lead singer and guitarist, told reporters.

“We certainly feel excited and proud, especially after finding out that we are going to be the first Indonesian musicians to perform in Glastonbury. It will also be our first performance in the UK.”

Voice of Baceprot will play the Woodsies stage at Glastonbury on June 28, sharing the glory of performing at the legendary music festival alongside artists such as Coldplay, Dua Lipa and Cyndi Lauper.

“We will try to use this opportunity to also uplift Indonesian culture through music, including using tonal elements from Sundanese music,” Marsya said, referring to their ethnic origins.

Voice of Baceprot sings a mix of English, Indonesian and Sundanese — their native tongue. The word “baceprot” is Sundanese for “annoyingly noisy.”

Marsya met the other band members — drummer Euis Siti Aisyah and bassist Widi Rahmawati — at an Islamic boarding school and established the group in 2014.

Now in their early 20s, they have been overcoming prejudice and shattering stereotypes about Muslims and Islam.

“We try to introduce the other side that is closer to the truth,” Marsya said.
The band has already gained praise from Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, and was met with great interest during its 2021 and 2022 Europe tours.

“It was beyond expectation. Every time we have an international tour, I am afraid that no one will show up ... because we’re not that big yet,” Siti said.

“But after a few times performing there, we’ve seen how enthusiastic the audience was. Some would even wait for our performance.”

The trio’s accomplishments have also been noticed by the Indonesian government, which is supporting the group’s upcoming UK trip.

“This is a form of soft diplomacy,” Desra Percaya, Indonesia’s ambassador to the UK, told reports.

“Voice of Baceprot is truly taking up the role of Indonesia’s ambassadors and, of course, they are on a mission to make Indonesia proud.”


Egyptian rapper Marwan Pablo on being a Diesel brand ambassador

Updated 17 July 2024

Egyptian rapper Marwan Pablo on being a Diesel brand ambassador

CAIRO: Egyptian rap artist Marwan Pablo was recently named a regional brand ambassador for Italian fashion label Diesel — and the up-and-coming star spoke to Arab News about his relationship with the luxury brand.

"My connection with Diesel goes way back, long before I became an ambassador and one of its faces globally," the Alexandria-born rapper, whose real name is Marwan Matawa, said.

Known for his streetwear style, Pablo is not one to shy away from patterns and color — and that keen fashion sense was sparked by a gift from his father.

"My clothing and accessories now reflect my growing relationship with this luxury brand, which started back in 2007 or 2008 when I was in school and my father bought me a pair of Diesel jeans,” he explained. “That gift changed how I viewed and wore clothes for life. Those pieces remained with me for a long time … I feel a sense of daring and ambition with Diesel, something that I've busily incorporated into the brand's unique identity, which I find distinct from other youth-oriented brands."


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Born in 1995, the “Lelly Yah” hitmaker briefly quit music in 2020 citing personal reasons. He returned to the spotlight in 2021, however, with the hit track "Ghaba" that gained more than four million views on YouTube within the first 24 hours. His latest offering, "Al Mabda,” was released in 2024 and condemns the global silence over the attacks carried out by Israeli forces on the people of Gaza.

When asked about his future plans, the artist stressed the need to remain flexible, saying: "I always want to stay flexible and integrated, whether it's with my new music or my fashion style."

Meanwhile, Diesel took to social media to praise its new ambassador, saying: “Pablo's music serves as a raw and introspective canvas, drawing inspiration from his life experiences, thoughts, emotions, and the world around him.”


Dubai Fashion Week announces preliminary schedule for spring/summer 2025

Updated 17 July 2024

Dubai Fashion Week announces preliminary schedule for spring/summer 2025

DUBAI: The global and regional fashion labels expected to set the upcoming spring/summer 2025 season’s biggest trends at Dubai Fashion Week have been announced.

Scheduled ahead of New York Fashion Week, DFW will be held from Sept. 1-7 this year at Dubai Design District (d3).

Co-founded by d3 and the Arab Fashion Council, DFW will feature more than 30 brands from France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Palestine, Russia, the UAE and the UK, showing streetwear and haute couture collections alongside internationally acclaimed guest designers.

The event’s footprint extends citywide, with 40 invitation-only presentations, private dinners and collection launches hosted by global brands and industry stakeholders.

The first three days of DFW will focus on haute couture collections.

The final three days will spotlight ready-to-wear collections by acclaimed designers such as Alia Bastamam, April & Alex, Benang Jarum, BLSSD, Dima Ayad, Born in Exile, Buttonscarves, Choice, Heaven Lights, Riva, Self Made, Viva Vox and Weinsanto, presented and supported by the Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, the governing body behind Paris Fashion Week.

The last day of the calendar will focus on private appointments and a buyers’ market.

Launching for the first time is the International Buyers Programme, enabling retailers worldwide to enrol in DFW’s tier benefits. The programme expands buyers’ reach and talent discovery through DFW and within Dubai’s vibrant fashion ecosystem, reinforcing the city as the region’s de facto fashion capital.

“Dubai is the pulsating heart of fashion in the region, and Dubai Fashion Week is disseminating its rhythm globally,” said Khadija Al-Bastaki, senior vice president of d3 – part of TECOM Group. “The collections and designers displayed on our runway inject diversity into the global fashion dialogue and demonstrate the powerful talent emerging within our region.

“DFW has unveiled incredible opportunities, partnerships and global networks to participating designers and buyers, and we look forward to pushing the envelope further with this latest edition that includes a new buyer’s platform, an expanded venue, more events and an extended schedule of designers.

“Dubai Fashion Week will once more raise the bar for fashion excellence and cement Dubai among the global fashion capitals,” Al-Bastaki said. 

Elyanna expands her world tour from North America to Europe

Updated 17 July 2024

Elyanna expands her world tour from North America to Europe

  • Tour from Oct. 5 to Dec. 16 features 30 stops
  • Fans also want ‘Woledto’ concerts in Mideast

DUBAI: Chilean-Palestinian music sensation Elyanna is reportedly expanding her world tour “Woledto,” with new dates and locations in Europe.

The tour, from Oct. 5 to Dec. 16, will have 30 stops.

The 22-year-old artist announced on Instagram this week that presales will start on July 17, with general sales from July 19.

“THE WOLEDTO TOUR from North America to Europe! See you soon,” she wrote to her 1.5 million followers on Instagram.

Her fans quickly took to the comments section, requesting gigs in Lebanon, Dubai, Los Angeles, Australia, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan and more.

Elyanna, who was the first artist to perform a full set in Arabic at California’s Coachella music festival in 2023, has been normalizing Arabic lyrics in the Western world.

She has been inspired by artists including Lana Del Ray and Beyonce, as well as Middle East legend Fayrouz.

The Los Angeles-based singer’s music is a mix of Arabic and Western beats, which she attributes to her multicultural upbringing. She is known for her songs “Ghareed Alay,” “Ala Bali,” “Ana Lahale,” “Mama Eh,” among others.

Elyanna dropped her debut album in April featuring nine songs: “Woledto,” “Ganeni,” “Calling U,” “Al Sham,” “Mama Eh,” “Kon Nafsak,” “Lel Ya Lel,” “Yabn El Eh” and “Sad in Pali.”

Before releasing the album, she wrote to her Instagram followers: “This album is the embodiment of pride to be an Arab woman, to be from Nazareth, to be from the Middle East.”

“This is the closest I’ve been to where I come from,” she added. “The only feature on my album is my grandfather.”

In May this year, she made her television debut on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

The music sensation delivered a medley of hits from her debut album including “Callin’ U (Tamally Maak)” and “Mama Eh,” the first song performed entirely in Arabic on the show.

Bella Hadid heads to New York for Adidas campaign launch

Updated 16 July 2024

Bella Hadid heads to New York for Adidas campaign launch

DUBAI: US Palestinian Dutch supermodel Bella Hadid is the face of Adidas Originals’ new campaign for its SL “Super Light” 72 sneaker.

The brand is reintroducing the running shoe, which launched in the summer of 1972, in five colorways. Hadid took part in the launch campaign, which sees the model star in a digital and billboard campaign for the brand — with her image taking over a largescale billboard in New York this week.


A post shared by Bella (@bellahadid)

“Lucky to still be able to have these (kinds) of pinch me moments,” Hadid posted on Instagram alongside a carousel of photos of the billboard.

The photographs for the campaign were shot in Paris and see Hadid posing in the shoes while wearing an Adidas top-and-shorts set with the brand’s identifiable three stripes. She holds a bouquet of red-hued flowers in the photos.

Hadid is celebrating more than just her latest campaign — this spring, the model launched her own brand Orebella. The inaugural products were three perfumes.


A post shared by Bella (@bellahadid)

In July, the beauty entrepreneur announced that a percentage of the proceeds from her brand are being donated to the Orebella Alchemy Foundation, a charitable initiative aimed at creating positive change across various communities.

The Orebella Alchemy Foundation partners with organizations that are “deeply personal” to Hadid, such as Girls Club New York, which empowers young women and “youth of color,” and the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), which aims to change lives by providing equine-assisted services to people with disabilities.

“We will be donating a minimum financial donation of 1 percent of all Orebella net sales to charity, as well as delivering service hours, community outreach and social promotion,” Hadid wrote on social media. “I can’t wait to keep growing and including even more amazing organizations. I have so many different organizations that are important to me and we will continue to roll them out.”

Marvel downplays Israeli background of character in ‘Captain America: Brave New World’

Updated 16 July 2024

Marvel downplays Israeli background of character in ‘Captain America: Brave New World’

DUBAI: Amid the hype surrounding the release of the first “Captain America: Brave New World” trailer, Marvel Studios is seeking to distance itself from the controversial roots of one of its characters.

A story published on Marvel’s official website contained the following information  about new character Ruth Bat-Seraph, whose inclusion in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was previously confirmed in 2022.

“New to the cast is Shira Haas, who joins as Ruth Bat-Seraph. A former Black Widow, Ruth is now a high-ranking US government official who has the trust of President Ross,” said Marvel.

The description confirms some significant changes from the comics, where Ruth is originally a mutant named Sabra, an Israeli superhero and an agent of Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. The character has long been controversial owing to her connection to the Israel-Palestine conflict — a controversy that has taken on even greater significance recently due to the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

Although the term “Sabra” refers to a Jewish person born in Israel, the name is also considered insensitive considering the Sabra and Shatila massacre of 1982.

Ruth is played by Israeli actress Shira Haas, who was first cast in the role in 2022. She has previously appeared in movies including “Asia” and “The Zookeeper's Wife,” as well as the Netflix series “Bodies.”