LISTEN: Syria's Dabke King Turns Worldwide Hit

Omar Souleyman was a popular wedding singer in Syria, until a Seattle-based label discovered him. Hear his album here, a week before the official release.

Syria's Omar Souleyman is a fascinating musical phenomenon. Up until a decade ago, the dabke artist was a popular wedding singer, with more than 500 albums released over the years under his name, which were sold in local kiosks across Syria.

In 2006, one of the albums reached Seattle-based Sublime Frequencies, a label that specializes in world music. The record company saw potential in Souleyman, who incorporated techno with traditional, folk Syrian music.

Sublime then decided to release "Highway to Hassake" – Souleyman's first album outside the Middle East – an overview of his entire career. Since then, the Syria artist has toured the globe and performed in some of the world's biggest festivals, such as Glastonbury and All Tomorrow's Parties, and even teamed up with Bjork and Damian Albern.

His first studio album "Wenu Wenu" will be released next week, which will be a collaboration between Souleyman and electronic giant Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet, who produced the album.

You can now listen to Souleyman's new album here, a week before it's officially released.

This article was published in collaboration with the alternative radio station "Kol Hacampus" (106 FM).

Stuart Sevastos