Monday, June 3, 2019

The identity of Dunya Yunis revealed.

Dunya Yunis - in an undated image
Ever since her track Abou El Zelouf was sampled in Brian Eno and David Byrne's "Regiment" (released in 1980), which was taken specifically from the double LP The Human Voice in the World of Islam (published in 1976)people wondered who was the woman behind the collossal voice. A small search on WhoSampled, leads to many - many - bands sampling Ms Yunis including: Yello. The Orb, M/A/R/RS and the list continues! I bet she did not get any penny from either her original track or the sampling.
She is dismissed a "mountain singer" in the Eno/Byrne release and yet her track was studio recorded, so a simple google search of her name (in Arabic) leads us to discover she starred in a play called "Tawahin Al Layl" (the windmills of the night) and for her to be starring next to an A-lister like Wadih Al Safi then she was by no means some simple passerby.
Do note the original date of the play is 1960, but the version that was shown by TeleLiban certainly comes later, but again her sampled track (which ironically has nothing to do with the "world of Islam") could have been recorded earlier too, yet - as with the play shown in the link - it is also undated.
Apparently she retired quite early from the spotlight - but if I am writing this post about her it is because there was always some misunderstanding as to her identity.