top of page





Bern, Switzerland

Credit - Yoshiko Kusano





Almwaya is a musical project consisting of the duo - of Maya Aghniadis, a music producer and multi-instrumentalist from Lebanon, and Wael Sami Elkholy a Cairo-raised singer and actor After moving to Switzerland, Wael Sami Elkholy released two albums. I decided to review their latest project #RidingACamelInTheMiddleOfTheSea and get the duo in for a TJPL NEWS interview. So, let's get into this album first! The beginning of this album is highly meditative - #DucksandDrakes combines the sounds of nature with acoustic strings to lift the listener into the early stages of the project. The windpipe instrumentation along with the Mediterranean-infused strings take you into a land of wonder. The second half of this piece finds us listening to the gorgeous Arabian-inspired vocals of both artists. This is beautiful. #Ethammili is a gorgeous piece - This song infuses the calmness of nature with tribal percussion and the sounds of Arabia - Being half Arab myself I really appreciated the diversity in this piece - I can hear the traditional influences that remain and the impact that modern sounds have had on the piece. I think that this piece is revolutionary to the sound of the modern Arab World. #JeVeuxJePeux is an intriguing production indeed. The opening bassline sounds a lot like modern bass but is rooted in traditional Arabian strings - the guitar compositions remind me of elements of traditional Yemeni music with a modern twist. Love this one! The vocals are heartfelt and traditionally Arabian, and the production is too but with that clear cinematic and atmospheric twist of experimental electro with a few high-pitched screams thrown in for a rock and roll effect. This is a very bold and daring piece that has worked! #TahunatAlma is a stripped-back piece that holds an intimate feel. The track holds very few instruments which allow for the soulful vocals to really shine through. #Bea - Radio Edit is another interestingly experimental piece that infuses the worlds of the Middle East and the west. Meditteranean strings merge with Arabian strings to create a body for the vocals to rest on and the bass is highly catchy. #YenteGyae infuses acoustic guitar with percussion shakers and almost chanting vocals in a track that feels very tribal and mindful. I love this one! This is a piece that grows as it develops - it keeps the authentic sounds of traditional Arabian influence and merges them into a cinematic experience. This is my favorite piece! The track then moves into a Greek-sounding production. I LOVE THIS TRACK SO MUCH! #PurpleCloud is another favorite of mine. Infusing Arabian strings once more with hints of Greek influence. I love this piece the minute I heard it and so I googled it. I found an acoustic version and fell even more in love with the soulful nature of this duo. #MoonlightBay closes the project under the stars and places the listener back with the sounds of nature, birds singing along with the artists' and the strings slow down to entice you further into their world. This duo merges the world in one smooth sweep through their unique and diverse artistic direction making a distant world feel less vast. It's been a real honor to have had their sound placed in front of me.