Rony Afif Releases Debut Album

Drummer drops instrumental LP of self-penned work

Rony Afif
By Adam Grundey
Mar 04, 2014

Rony Afif is a familiar face on the Middle East music scene, having played drums with a number of well-known acts, including Kamal Musallam and Hamdan Al Abri. But he’s now placing himself firmly in the spotlight with the release of his debut LP, the instrumental Zourouf [Circumstances].

Some of the tracks, Afif says, have been “sitting in drawers for the last five years” before he finally got around to recording in New York last year. “I wanted to do it the ‘right’ way,” he says. “My philosophy is do it all the way, or don’t do it.” Despite the long delay in starting the album, it was actually recorded in just four days. “When you go to New York, everybody knows what they’re doing,” says Afif, who recorded the LP with NY-based session musicians. “There’s no reason for delay. You just have to hook it up.”

The result is, essentially, a jazz album, but with hints of Oriental, electro, and flamenco music. “I’d rather not use the new ‘F’ word – Fusion,” says Afif. “Everybody’s doing that these days. I’d quote [my producer] on this; he said it’s as if I’m speaking English with an Arabic accent. I think I’d put it that way."

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