top of page
  • Hussein Charania

The most beautiful brotherhood, EP, and show.

What happens when you mix 25 years of friendship + a diversity of faith and cultural backgrounds + hip hop and r&b + traditional instruments such as the kora, flute and violin + lyrics that speak to the experience of immigrants and their children + musical and dance performance at the highest calibre? You get magic.

I decided to write about Karpe's album/project "Omar Sheriff" as my first story because it really is the main inspiration for this blog. I was born in Canada, parents from Kenya, grandparents from India (Gujarat). My faith connects me with Central Asia, the Middle East, and with Sufism. Like many, my parents moved from 20℃ to -20℃ and started with labour jobs in order to build a foundation for their family. I grew up listening and watching Michael Jackson, then hip hop and r&b. Somehow, all the above mentioned are captured and articulated so beautifully in Omar Sheriff and the corresponding Diaspora Dreams tour with The Quick Style. Putting all that aside, my 7 and 4 year old daughters do not identify with many of the above identity markers, yet when we pick them up from school the first songs they ask for in the car are "Pafno", "Salmalaks", and "Narnia". This is because Karpe have transcended so many borders of music one could imagine.

The Brotherhood: Karpe is a duo from Norway: Magdi Omar Ytreeide Abdelmaguid and Chirag Rashmikant Patel aka Omar and Sheriff. They come from Muslim Egyptian/Norwegian and Hindu Gujarati (Indian) backgrounds, respectively. After listening to their interviews, like any relationship, it is apparent that the two do not always agree, yet they have maintained a partnership and friendship for over 25 years. Their art is a testimony to the extra-ordinary generosity shown to each other's beliefs and backgrounds, in addition the backgrounds of the many other artists they have surrounded themselves with - To just name a few: Thomas Kongshavn on production, Mira Thiruchelvam on the flute, Ibou Cissokho on the kora, Harpreet Bansal on the violin , Miriam Lien on costumes, Eirik Kiil Saga on the keyboard, Michael Ray Vera Cruz Angeles on video production, and Agri Soltanpanah on video direction, Sebastian Ekeberg on concert design, and of course The Quick Style (who will most definitely be expanded upon in another post).

The EP: Diaspora Dreams (The Quick Style Selection) . The studio version of Omar Sheriff is also amazing, however with The Quick Style Selection you get Dowain Narnia, an extended version of Salmon/Laks, and the incredible energy from the audience in PAF.NO. However, I do wish that they included BARAF/FAIRUZ. Although the songs are primarily in Norwegian, Hindi, Arabic, French and Punjabi are seamlessly weaved in.

The Show: Diaspora Dreams. As per Rolling Stone - "This is the most beautiful show in the world". A couple must-see clips below, with subtitles. Make sure to expand and turn your volume way up.


bottom of page