Building on the success of the multi-disciplinary exhibition, ’50 For 50′, which broke ground in Dubai, British Jewish Grammy-nominated artist and Sisters Grimm co-founder, Ella Spira MBE together with Egyptian Muslim hip hop and rap artist DB Gad, is releasing a new rap single, See Beyond; celebrating diversity and accommodating cultural differences to find a better way of co-existence.
“The purpose of the song was not to sugarcoat what differences between us all can mean. It can be immensely frustrating, we all know that, and the song both musically and lyrically, acknowledges and articulates that sense of emotional tension.” Ella said unfolding the essence of the song.
Paying homage to her roots as a third-generation Holocaust survivor and acknowledging the significant feat in a peace treaty and world relations, Ella feels that See Beyond is a reflection of the ‘Abraham Accords’, which marked
“huge progress in achieving greater world peace and rather than ignoring the differences, in my opinion it is facing and recognising them, making the choice to move forward and try to create more harmony”
A real advocate of pushing Arabic rap into the limelight, DB Gad rapped the song in his mother tongue stirring up an emotive narrative breaking cross cultural barriers and intending to bridge Arabic and Western music.
“See Beyond is a fusion of classical music and hip hop – a union of artistic minds coming from two individuals who have different backgrounds. Ella and I celebrated our differences. There was no limit, no boundaries and that was the magic. The song came out naturally,” commented DB.
Recorded and produced in Sisters Grimm’s studio in the majestic Burj Khalifa, See Beyond is releasing in Dubai on the 20th January via their Youtube channel together with a theatrically portrayed music video, which is an excerpt from their film ‘Daughters of the Wind’ – the Act 2 of the 50 For 50 exhibition. It describes the story of a modern Emirati woman in a ballet performance by former Royal Ballet ballerina and Sisters Grimm’s co-founder, Pietra Mello-Pittman MBE, set in a very progressive city yet surrounded by its natural beauty, with people of diverse cultures embracing collaboration and enjoying a sense of community – painting the picture of the beautiful landscapes of the UAE, its skyscrapers and the people of the world dwelling harmoniously in this cultural melting pot.
“The music video takes place at the protagonist’s place of work. We see how she battles with her colleagues, fighting for her ideas. We see her perform the ‘mangrove’ dance gesture, whilst one colleague is drawing a harsh line on the horizon where he sees his idea taking place and the other very clearly saying no to both ideas,” Pietra narrated. “Filmed in Dubai Opera, the 50 landscape paintings, which Ella painted in situ, were rigged to fly in and out of the main stage of the Opera as the backdrop to the story. There was no use of CGI whatsoever.”
Awarded MBEs by His Royal Highness Prince Charles for their contribution to the Creative Industry and International Trade, Sisters Grimm is a bearer of positive change and is disrupting the Middle Eastern Creative Economy by bringing in internationally acclaimed music and arts, producing them locally, that are culturally themed, socially relevant and accessible to a diverse modern audience. ’50 FOR 50’ illustrated this with Sisters Grimm offering the exhibition free to the public when it debuted on the 50th anniversary of the UAE and receiving visitors from 40 different countries leaving heart-warming feedback.
“There is great potential for artists and art produced across the ME to penetrate the global music and arts scene more,” yearned Ella. “We would love to contribute to help elevate the Creative Economy to become a global player which we hope will pave the way for equal opportunity for the diverse and multicultural talents that the region has at securing the support and finances needed that will sustainably make the most of the potential that is here. Furthermore, we would like to play a role in offering a variety of presentations and in helping develop performance venues – even smaller ones – that are needed to not only allow for long term residencies of work produced here and for local talents to have regular slots but also help cultivate the audience. On this note, there has to be a significant long-term investment in the industry to allow the freedom and space for this work to evolve and venues to be able to grow.”